iPhone Ad Banned over "False Claims"
Britain's advertising watchdog has banned a recent iPhone 3G ad over misleading functionality claims.
The ad showed the internet navigation prowess of the iPhone, with images zooming in on a weather forecast for Cape Town and a map of how to get to Heathrow airport.
"You never know which part of the internet you'll need ... which is why all the parts of the internet are on the iPhone," ran a voiceover.
The Advertising Standards Authority received two complaints that the claim was misleading because the iPhone did not support Flash or Java, which are both integral to many web pages.
Apple said the aim of the ad was to highlight how the iPhone can offer access to all websites, while many other handsets only offer lower-level access to WAP versions of sites or those selected by service providers.
The US technology giant said that Safari, the web browser the iPhone uses, was built to open internet standards.
Flash and Java technology were not open source, said Apple, adding that it could not ensure compatibility with "every third-party technology in the marketplace".
The company said none of the content in the ad was Java or Flash-based and that the line "all parts of the internet" meant website availability, "not every aspect of functionality".
However, the Advertising Standards Authority said that claims made by Apple implied that "users would be able to access all websites and see them in their entirety".
I remember when cameraphones were cutting-edge consumer technology: these little plug-in devices for the Sony-Ericsson handsets. The ad campaign showed the T68i displaying a stock photo from the Lomography gallery (I noticed it right away since I worked for Lomography at the time, and it was one of our most famous images), thoguh in reality the T68i's screen was nowhere even approaching photo-quality in terms of clarity.
As with Sony-Ericsson, so with Apple: this is where, in my opinion, sales-pitch hyperbole strays into false advertising: showing features that don't really exist.