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Second British iPhone ad banned from TV

updated 09:35 am EST, Wed November 26, 2008

UK iPhone ad no. 2 banned

A second TV ad for the iPhone has been banned from British TV, the region's Advertising Standards Authority has announced. The ASA says it received 17 complaints about the ad, which depicts a person switching from the Times Online website to Google Maps, and finally the phone's Mail client. The problem with the ad is said to be the speed depicted for the phone's 3G connection, which the ad claims is "really fast," but which the ASA says is shown as completing actions in "a fraction of a second."

Apple defends the ad as making statements "relative rather than absolute in nature," which were just a "comparison of the new 3G iPhone with its 2G predecessor." Viewers of the ad are also said to have been experienced cellphone users, who would know that connection speeds can vary based on location and other criteria. The ASA suggests, however, that the majority of TV viewers were unlikely to be aware of the differences between 2G and 3G, and that an "explicit indication" of comparison between the 3G and 2G iPhones was being made.

Apple was previously chastised by the ASA for an ad touting the iPhone's Safari browser, with the promise that it could offer "all the parts of the Internet." While the browser is capable of more advanced rendering than many of its rivals, the ASA observed that because it lacks Flash or Java support, many sites are inaccessible as they are meant to be seen.

by MacNN Staff





  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I wonder if the ASA nailed MS over their Flying People ads for Windows XP?

  1. jackmac13

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No way!

    The Brits can't be this gullible.

  1. Chopper3

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's not gulliblity

    it's that our Advertising Standards are just REALLY high, possibly too high in this case. I've spent a decent amount of time in a number of other countries around the world and some of the advertising out there is just plain illegal and misinforming - I guess if they stop us having that type of advert then I'm happy. It's no biggy for Apple is it?

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Surely you mean country?

  1. mr.mouse

    Joined: Dec 1969



  1. Grrr

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The Brit system bans anything they like. Except of course mass immigration/sponging from the system, and high taxation to pay for said spongers.
    Thats just fine in the UK.

    Anyway, this little problem is more due to the service providers (IE, O2 here in the UK) than it is for Apple. Its a shame O2 are not getting some heat for this, rather than Apple. As it's O2's data system which causes the c*** speeds in the first place. Apple hardware is more than up to the job..

    Its no different to a TV advert for Apples iMac showing an internet page loading. My iMac doesn't load a page as fast as that! But I know it isn't Apples fault, it's my internet provider that is essentially responsible for that.

  1. fubar_this

    Joined: Dec 1969


    um no

    Actually I think this is quite fair. Anybody who says it's O2 fault hasn't used any other 3G network. The 3G speeds here in the US are just OK. Even in downtown Chicago where AT&T has blanketed the area with towers, 3G speeds are nowhere near what's depicted in the commercial. Loading an article on the CNN website can take anywhere from 4 to 10 seconds depending on which network I'm using, not the "instant" response depicted here. The Maps GPS feature can take 10 seconds to come up with a location, and then it has to "relocate" a second or two later because it put me in the wrong spot--whereas here, it's depicted as coming up instantly.
    Usually in the US, commercials like this would say below "Pictures simulated" or something similar.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    missing the point...

    The iPhone ad purports to visibly demonstrate the virtue of speed that the device possesses. Bottom line, what they actually present is false and misleading by a significant margin, not a few seconds here and there but minutes! Also, the ads give a false impression of the speed and responsiveness of the iPhone interface itself that is nothing to do with connection speeds, 2G or 3G. Finally, is it not possible to criticise Apple where criticism is appropriate without someone saying "Yes but Microsoft is worse!"...? Please?

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969



    3G service in Vancouver, Canada is rock solid. My speed tests come in at over 2000kbps and I use 3G full time with WiFi turned off since i get better speeds with the 3G. I feel for those with crappy providers like AT&T because they are missing out on just how good 3G can and should be.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Well

    Anyway, this little problem is more due to the service providers (IE, O2 here in the UK) than it is for Apple. Its a shame O2 are not getting some heat for this, rather than Apple. As it's O2's data system which causes the c*** speeds in the first place. Apple hardware is more than up to the job..

    But since Apple is doing the promoting, and is promoting not only the iPhone, but the service (thus the "Only available at..." lines at the end), the ad HAS to represent what BOTH can achieve.

    Now, if Apple was hawking an untied iPhone and was just demonstrating what it could do, it would be perfectly fine.

    Otherwise, you couldn't advertise certain things like software, where it runs great on some platforms, but someone could come in and say "Hey, on my Pentium II 400MHz machine, Adobe CS 4 sucks!" and have it pulled.

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