UK bans Apple 3G iPhone advertisement

The U.K.'s advertising watchdog on Wednesday banned a video advertisement for Apple's 3G iPhone, saying the ad exaggerates the phone's speed and is misleading.

The U.K.'s advertising regulator banned a video advertisement for Apple's 3G iPhone, saying Wednesday that the ad exaggerates the phone's speed and is misleading.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 17 complaints about the advertisement, which shows a person whizzing through tasks such as opening a news page in a browser, using Google Maps and downloading a file.

All of the tasks "had waiting times of only a fraction of a second," the ASA said in a statement. A voice over says no less than five times that the 3G iPhone is "really fast."

In response, Apple told the ASA that the claim is a comparison between the 3G and 2G iPhone models, and that users would understand that performance could vary. The ad did include a text disclaimer that read "Network performance will vary by location."

However, the ASA found that the snappy visuals combined with the repetition of "really fast" would "lead viewers to conclude that the device actually operated at or near to the speeds shown in the ad."

Also, not all mobile phone users may be aware of the differences between 2G and 3G technology, ASA said.

Apple did not have an immediate comment on the ruling.

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
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