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BBC World gets rival CNBC busted for misleading ads

LONDON - A spat has broken out between BBC World and CNBC over which financial news service has the most desirable audience, with CNBC being rapped in the process.

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BBC World has complained to the advertising watchdog about a magazine advertisement for CNBC that claimed: "Get in front of Europe's wealthiest, with the channel that's way out in front".

The ad went on to claim CNBC was "Europe's No. 1 financial and business news channel". It showed three bar graphs, purporting to show the service's audience of "high net-worth individuals", "senior decision makers" and those with a "personal income over €225,000".

BBC World complained that some of the information in the ad was incorrect, that the size sample used for one of the graphs was too small, and that two of the graphs used confusing categories and were chosen to give CNBC an artificial advantage.

CNBC admitted that some of the data used in the ad was, in fact, incorrect, but claimed that it was because statistics had been swapped in error. However, CNBC argued that the various categories it had used were recognised by the industry.

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld all three accounts against CNBC. It told the broadcaster it must use only robust data in future ads and that it should avoid the approach in the future.

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