BT Ryan Reynolds broadband ad banned by ASA after complaints

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned this Ryan Reynolds BT ad, known as "Helicopter", after more than 60 complaints. But it's not for the nutty helicopter stunt, where Ryan casually grabs on to a chopper and allows it to fly 200 meters up in the air with him hanging on to it. It's for the words "UK’s most powerful Wi-Fi signal" and the assertion that BT's Smart Hub users had "faster Wi-Fi connections in more rooms than the latest hubs from other major UK broadband providers."

See the second claim is firmly in the routers capabilities, not in BT internet, so the ASA slapped the company with a ban for this ad. The ASA geeked out and checked the claim thoroughly first.

"We considered that it was sufficient for BT to test only the three top-performing hubs in order to demonstrate that the same results could be achieved in a representative real home setting. However, it was not sufficient to substantiate the claim as it would be understood by consumers, as a comparison with the whole market."

Some complainers noted that the hanging-off-a-helicopter scenario wasn't likely to get you any wifi at 200 meters up, and protested that claim. But the ASA scoffed at that, noting; " it depicted a fantastical situation that did not reflect the way consumers were likely to use Wi-Fi."

Client: BT
Principal talent: Ryan Reynolds

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