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Apple warned over iPhone ad

By Matthew Sparkes

Posted on 26 Nov 2008 at 08:49

Apple has been forced to pull one of its television adverts after it was found it could mislead customers over the speed of browsing on the iPhone 3G.

"So what's so great about 3G?" asked the recently aired advert, which showed footage of an iPhone browsing the internet. "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."

However, 17 viewers complained that the advert was misleading, as it showed the handset surfing at an exaggerated speed. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld these complaints, and have demanded that the advert not be shown again in its current form.

"We noted the voice-over claim "really fast" was used in conjunction with each of the functions shown in the visuals. Although we noted the on-screen text disclaimer, "network performance will vary by location", we considered that the visuals, in conjunction with the repeated use of the claim "really fast", were likely to lead viewers to believe that the device actually operated at or near to the speeds shown in the ad. Because we understood that it did not, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead," explains the ASA adjudication.

The adjudication is not the first time that Apple has been in trouble over iPhone adverts. A campaign for the original iPhone was also deemed to be misleading, after it claimed to give access to the entire internet. In reality, many Flash or Java based sites were unavailable.

See our real-world recreation of the advert to see how long it really takes to browse the web on an iPhone

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