UK advertising regulators have laid down the law, telling Apple not to repeat a TV ad for the iPhone – because it exaggerated the device’s internet capability.
The offending ad showed a finger touching the iPhone’s weather icon, showing the forecast for Cape Town and then navigating through a Heathrow Airport area map, a Safari icon, hotels and stock market webpage. The iPhone rang and the hand was shown answering it.
During the ad, the voice-over said " You never know which part of the internet youll need. The do you need sun cream part? The whats the quickest way to the airport part? The what about an ocean view room part? Or the can you really afford this part? Which is why all the parts of the internet are on the iPhone". The ad ended with on-screen text that stated "iPhone. Only on O2".
But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) declared the ad to be misleading, because two viewers "believed the claim that all parts of the internet were accessible was misleading because they understood that the iPhone did not support Flash or Java, both integral to many web pages."
Apple argued that the aim of the ad was to highlight the benefit of the iPhone in being able to offer availability to all websites. Apple also argued that "Java and Flash were examples of proprietary software they (Apple) had chosen not to enable on the iPhone."
The ASA considered that the claim made in the ad would lead some viewers to expect Flash and Java support, and declared the ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 5.1 (Misleading advertising), 5.2.1 (Evidence) and 5.2.2 (Implications). It must not be broadcast again in the UK in its current form.
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