Across the pond in the UK, they do in fact have something very foreign to us here in America called advertising standards. Apparently, in some cases at least, companies are actually held accountable for claims made in their advertisements. Crazy, we know. The body responsible for ensuring that advertising is up to par with UK standards, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), was none too happy with a recent iPhone 3G commercial and ended up banning it from UK airwaves. Apparently it received complaints from 17 people claiming that the commercial was very misleading, citing one point in the ad where the handset loads web pages in just a fraction of a second. Apple responded with the claim that its representations and statements in the commercial were “relative rather than absolute in nature,” but still complied when the ASA instructed it to cease the ad run. Despite the presence of the text, “Network performance will vary by location” in the ad, the ASA seems to think that the iPhone 3G is not capable of such speedy performance regardless of the network. We can’t say we disagree. Here in the US, similar ads continue to run but may in fact be pulled by Apple in the not-so-distant future. Why? We don’t complain to an ad-watching organization here in the States, we sue.
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