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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has moved to ban a press, website, poster and TV ad campaign for BT's TV and broadband bundles, over misleading claims that customers would receive BT Sport free of charge.

While subscribers to BT's broadband, TV or mobile services receive BT Sport Lite content at no additional cost, the full BT Sport pack tends to add an extra £5 per month to a customer's bill.

But a variety of misleading adverts appeared to suggest the full BT Sport package was available to all customers.

A recent poster campaign ran the headline: “Watch the UEFA Champions League for free”, with smaller text stating: “Every game live, free for our BT TV customers", while there were similar messages in website promos and press ads.

A television advert also stated BT Sport was “Free for existing BT TV customers when you re-contract TV & BB for 18 months.”

The ASA has now taken action against BT after complaints were brought by Sky and several members of the public arguing the claims were misleading.

The authority ruled that it was wrong for BT to claim the BT Sport Pack was free when customers were actually required to re-contract or take an additional services.

In its ruling, the watchdog stated: "We again considered that despite the on-screen reference to a minimum line speed requirement, ad (f) [the TV advert] did not make clear to entirely new customers that they also needed to have BT broadband, the length of time for which they were required to contract to broadband or any additional costs.

"In addition it was not clear that existing BT broadband customers would need to re-contract for broadband in addition to taking a TV contract. For those reasons, we also considered ad (f) did not make the clear extent of the commitment each of the different categories of consumers needed to make to take advantage of the free offer."

The ASA has since told BT to cease circulation of the adverts in their current form and ensure that future campaigns make clear "the extent of the commitment consumers must make to take advantage of a free offer".

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