The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an ad for the iPhone after complaints that it was misleading. No, it's not about "twice as fast, half the price." Instead it's about the browsing prowess of the iPhone.
The ASA received two (yes, only 2) complaints about the ad, which said the following:
"You never know which part of the Internet you'll need. The 'do you need sun cream' part? The 'what's 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 complaints were definitely from techies and not regular consumers: the complaints were that the iPhone does not support Flash or Java, which appear on many websites, and therefore the claim that "all the parts of the Internet are on the iPhone" was false.
The response from Apple was that the aim of the ad was to highlight the benefits of the iPhone in being able to offer availability to full internet websites, as opposed to other phones which "offered access to WAP versions or sites selected by service providers."
The ASA noted that Java and Flash proprietary software was not enabled on the iPhone and understood that users would therefore be unable to access certain features on some websites or websites that relied solely on Flash or Java. We noted Apples argument that the ad was about site availability rather than technical detail, but considered that the claims "You'll never know which part of the internet you'll need" and "all parts of the internet are on the iPhone" implied users would be able to access all websites and see them in their entirety. We considered that, because the ad had not explained the limitations, viewers were likely to expect to be able to see all the content on a website normally accessible through a PC rather than just having the ability to reach the website. We concluded that the ad gave a misleading impression of the internet capabilities of the iPhone.
Well, they are right, but it sure is picky. You can watch the video and judge for yourself at the Guardian link.