iPhone 3G Ad Banned From UK For Misleading Advertising
Apple’s gotten some criticism in the US for their slight exaggeration in their iPhone 3G ads, such as their claim that the iPhone 3G is twice as fast as the 2G iPhone, and is even facing a possible class action, but has otherwise garnered no bad consequences. The UK government appears to have taken the matter more seriously and has banned the ads from airing in the country.
The Advertising Standards Autority (ASA) in the UK claims to have received complaints from two viewers about what they believed was misleading advertising in the ad, specifically where it stated that “all the parts of the internet are on the iPhone.” They argued that since Mobile Safari does not offer support for Flash or Java, they cannot truthfully claim that they support the whole internet.
When Apple was contacted, they said that Mobile Safari using open standards, and that they couldn’t reasonably assure that ever third party plug-in technology on the web would be supported. Rather, their focus was that the statement in the ad that “all parts of the internet” were supported only meant that all sites could be accessed, but not that all would be 100% functional.
Still, the ASA believed that the statements that “Youll never know which part of the internet youll need” and “all parts of the internet are on the iPhone” implied that everything would be available.
“We considered that, because the ad had not explained the limitations, viewers were likely to expect to be able to see all the content on a website normally accessible through a PC rather than just having the ability to reach the website,” the watchdog said in a statement. “We concluded that the ad gave a misleading impression of the internet capabilities of the iPhone.”
To be specific, the ASA ruled that the ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 5.1 (Misleading advertising), 5.2.1 (Evidence) and 5.2.2 (Implications), and has banned the commercial from further broadcast in its current form.