iPhone advert pulled by ASA

November 27, 2008 | 08:58

Tags: #2g #3g #ad #advert #advertising #asa #iphone

Companies: #advertising-standards-authority #apple

The Advertising Standards Authority has officially chastised Apple over its claims that Internet access on the second-generation 3G iPhone is “really fast,” stating that the company needs to pull its advertising pronto.

According to BetaNews, the ruling by the advertising industry's self-regulatory body states that the company has violated three sections of the BCAP TV Advertising Code: the provision of adequate objective evidence to support claims made during an advertisement; descriptions, claims, and illustrations that do not imply attributes or performance beyond that achievable in normal usage; and no sneakily using techniques that “is likely to give a misleading or unfair impression of the product or service.

The Authority, acting on seventeen complaints from members of the public, decided that Apple's use of split-second load times in the demonstration provided during the advert along with the voice over stating that news, directions, and Internet access are all “really fast” on the new device contravened the code enough to require the advert to be pulled and re-worked before it can be broadcast again. In particular, the Authority ruled that no objective evidence to support the claims of “really fast” Internet access was provided.

Replying to the Authority's adjudication, Apple claimed that the superlatives used during the advertisment were merely a comparison with the previous 2G version of the iPhone. Additionally, the use of fine print across the bottom of the 30-second slot stating that “network performance will vary by location” absolved them of the need to provide objective evidence for the speed possibilities. Sadly the for company, the Authority disagreed: stating that “the ad did not give an explicit indication of a comparison with the older 2G iPhone” and that Apple must not show the advert in its current form again.

Do you believe that Apple's use of split-second wait times during the advert was deliberately misleading, or has the ASA been a trifle harsh in its ruling? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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