Apple withdraws iPhone ad over speed claims

November 26th, 2008 - 6:23 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 26 (ANI): Apple has withdrawn its iPhone 3G ads after UK advertising regulations received complaints that the company is misleading consumers by exaggerating the speed of its hugely popular smart phone.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints about a television ad for the iPhone 3G which boasted of the gadget’’s “really fast” performance.
ASA advocated complaints about a television ad for the iPhone 3G which boasted of the gadget’’s “really fast” performance.
The ad stated: “So what’’s so great about 3G? It’’s what helps you get the news, really fast. Find your way, really fast. And download pretty much anything, really fast. The new iPhone 3G. The internet, you guessed it, really fast,” reports The Independent.
In the ad, a close-up of the handset was shown being used to surf a news webpage, view the Google maps service and download a file, with the user waiting just a fraction of a second for each action.
Text on the screen said: “Network performance will vary by location.”.
According to the ASA, 17 viewers complained that the ad was misleading because it exaggerated the speed of the iPhone 3G.
In support of the complaints, the authority ordered that the ad must not appear again in its current form.
Defending the ad, Apple UK said it was intended to compare the new 3G model with its 2G predecessor, and the claims were “relative rather than absolute in nature”.
Also, it said that the implication that the 3G iPhone allowed “really fast” downloads and Internet access in comparison to the previous generation was not misleading.
It claimed that the average viewer being a mobile phone user would have understood that a device’’s performance varied due to several factors.
It further added that the average viewer would understand that a 30-second TV ad was simplified to allow an illustration of the device, adding that the text stating “network performance will vary by location” underlined the possibility of performance variations.
But the ASA maintained that there are many viewers who not be fully aware of the technical differences between the new iPhone and its predecessor.
The watchdog also noted the ad did not give an explicit indication of a comparison with the older phone.
It said the ad was likely to lead viewers to believe that the device actually operated at or near to the speeds shown in the ad.
It concluded: “Because we understood that it did not, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead.” (ANI)

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