Apple Forced to Pull the Plug on ‘Misleading’ iPhone 3G Ad in UK

Apple has breached (for the 2nd time) advertising code for making misleading claims about the iPhone. As a result, the misleading ad for the iPhone 3G has been banned in the UK.

The ad in question claims that the iPhone can access the internet and download content ‘really fast’. The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK received 17 complaints that the ad was misleading for exaggerating the speed of the device.

I suppose I can’t speak from experience on iPhone use across the pond, but over here in Canada I can browse the internet and download stuff ‘really fast’. The ad doesn’t sound misleading to me at all… And frankly, 17 complaints doesn’t sound like much to me either, perhaps there were other factors which led to those complaints?

In response, Apple UK has said that the claims in the ad were ‘relative rather than absolute in nature’, and that the claim was a comparison between the 2G iPhone and the 3G. Makes sense to me.

If you ask me, this is all to do about nothing. I have no issues with the iPhone’s speed, or any of the other current 3G devices for that matter. There are so many factors that can help or hinder a devices browsing and downloading speeds… These complaints seem suspect to me.

At any rate, the ASA has said that the ad was misleading and should not appear again in its current form. When all is said and done, this is simply a slap on the wrist to Apple UK.

Note: I believe the North American version of this ad is still airing in Canada/US.


  • Simon Sage

    All of the North American ads have disclaimers, I don’t know why the UK doesn’t have ’em.

  • mdk

    What’s the penetration like in that market for speeds faster than EDGE? Perhaps called 10Kps on this side of the pond ‘really fast’ is an apt comparison.

  • mdk

    This morning in the Register, they are saying the reason is that the ads SHOW the IPhone being really really fast, and that the speeds achieved in the advert are ludicrous to anyone who actually has one in their hands.

    Like showing a 300 mile per hour bicycle.

    Further, just because people have been conditioned to think that the crap they are being fed is ‘good’ doesn’t MAKE it good objectively. There should be some kind of truth requirement, lord know they’d tell you anything at all at the ad companies.

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