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Satellite broadcasting giant and broadband provider Sky has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) over an advertisement that was deemed to be "misleading" to the public.

The firm was censured by the ASA over a print advertisement which asked "still digging for the truth on cable broadband?".

In particular, the advertisement's claim that 350,000 customers who tested their connections on a speed-trial application on a website found that Sky subscribers had faster connections that those of Virgin Media was found to be misleading.

The panel said that since the tests were conducted in October 2006 - but the ads did not run until July 2007 - the claims would therefore have been out-of-date.

Furthermore, the ASA said the ad's failure to make explicit the fact that the Sky customers who took part in the trial had already paid for faster broadband speeds than those of the participating Virgin customers also made the claims likely to mislead its target audience.

A statement from the ASA said: "We concluded that the ad was misleading because it implied that Sky's service was, on average, faster than Virgin Media's service for all levels of broadband."

Sky was told it must not run the ads again, after a further allegation that claims made over the relative cheapness of its broadband service compared with that of Virgin were found by the ASA to be ill-founded.

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