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U.K. regulatory board backs Apple App Store ad claims

post #1 of 26
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The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority ruled this week that Apple has the right to say in commercials that there is software for "just about everything" on its iPhone App Store.

The ASA reviewed the advertisements from Apple and wireless carrier O2 after the board received 10 complaints from viewers. Those who complained said that the HTC G1 and Android Marketplace offer a range of applications, just like the iPhone.

Apple U.K. responded to the ASA and said that the iPhone has many more applications available on it than the G1 has. Currently, there are more than 65,000 programs available in 88 countries on the App Store, while the Apple U.K. told the ASA there are around 2,100 Android programs offered in nine countries.

"They emphasised that the iPhones Multi-Touch functionality was more advanced than any competing functionality and allowed users to perform actions such as 'pinch-to-zoom' and 'swipe-to-scroll,'" the ASA ruling reads. "They said that because of its reputation, many brands and developers launch their applications only on the App Store."

The ASA determined that the advertisement was not misleading. While some of the applications shown in the commercial are available on other mobile platforms, the board ruled that the iPhone is the only location where consumers could access such a variety of options.

"We therefore considered viewers would understand the claim 'Only on the iPhone' to refer to the range of apps available and the user experience of the App Store and iPhone, and not that they were the only company to provide applications for mobile phones," the ruling reads. "Because Apple had shown there were far more applications available for the iPhone than the G1 phone, and user-experience of the iPhone and the app store was distinct from its competitor, we concluded the claim "Only on the iPhone" was justified and not misleading."

The regulatory board can be particularly hard on advertising in the U.K., where advertising claims must meet a much higher standard than in the U.S. Just last year, the ASA ruled that Apple had to change a "misleading" commercial that claimed that "all parts of the Internet are on the iPhone."

That assertion was misleading, they said, because the iPhone does not support Flash or Java, two proprietary technologies that sometimes prove integral in the display of certain Web pages.

The ASA last year determined 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.
post #2 of 26
Quite right too
post #3 of 26
Gee I wish we could complain about ads in the US and get them pulled due to misleading information... Billy Mays would have been out of business a long time ago.
post #4 of 26
Gee, Android has fanboys too? A whole ten of them. Nice try guys. Guess your "HTC is just is good as iPhone" tactic doesn't hold water with the regulators. Try again.
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post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Gee I wish we could complain about ads in the US and get them pulled due to misleading information... Billy Mays would have been out of business a long time ago.


RIP Billy Mays, regardless of your feelings torward the products he pushed. Sadly you won't have to worry of any new more ads, ever again about watching tv and then hear (in a loud booming voice) "HI, BILLY MAYS HERE..."

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post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

RIP Billy Mays, regardless of your feelings torward the products he pushed. Sadly you won't have to worry of any new more ads, ever again about watching tv and then hear (in a loud booming voice) "HI, BILLY MAYS HERE..."

Poor guy. Gonna miss him. He made quite an impact in his field.
post #7 of 26
Wow. The open-source, out-of-touch fanboys strike again. Your G1 is fine, guys, but if you think that clunky thing (the web browser on it sucks compared to Safari on the iPhone) has anywhere near the range or selection of apps that the iPhone has, you're dreaming. Go do something productive instead of looking for petty ways to bitch at Apple. Goddamned neckbeards. I'll bet that eight of them were all aliases for Richard Stallman.
post #8 of 26
There must be some real hard ‘“core” Apple haters in the UK to keep making these complaints.

I'm from the UK, so I feel I can make these comments, having met a few. Anyone who wants proof should look no further than the Register.

What unites most of these people is that they have barely used a Mac (or any other Apple product) for that matter.

I just find it hilarious they lost this round. It probably gets them far more wound up than Apple.
post #9 of 26
They had a ruling about this? I'm glad they weren't my tax dollars.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by electronymous View Post

They had a ruling about this? I'm glad they weren't my tax dollars.

Ya, really... That's what I was thinking.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Poor guy. Gonna miss him. He made quite an impact in his field.

I don't miss him at all - every time he came on TV I had to turn down the volume- totally annoying. Charlie Tuna on the other hand- he I miss.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by electronymous View Post

They had a ruling about this? I'm glad they weren't my tax dollars.

Be careful... as an ex-Brit now living in the US (for quite some time now) having an advertising standards watchdog is probably a better use of tax 'dollars' than many other things I could mention. On British TV, you don't get utter bullshit commercials lying through their teeth to get you to buy some pill that will solve all your life's woes... for example.

Maybe Britons should shout for their tax 'dollars' to be spent subsidising awful telecoms companies who stifle competition through lobbying so they can get away with charging people for receiving texts and phone calls, as well as making them (that's got to be the stupidest thing I've ever come across).

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Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
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post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Gee I wish we could complain about ads in the US and get them pulled due to misleading information... Billy Mays would have been out of business a long time ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I don't miss him at all - every time he came on TV I had to turn down the volume- totally annoying. Charlie Tuna on the other hand- he I miss.

Well, the only thing that bothered me about Billy Mays was his constant yelling. I don't think I've seen all his ads, but I don't recall any Mays ads that stood out as misleading. There were a lot of other ads of that kind I'd rather see disappear though.
post #14 of 26
I'm going to complain to the same board about this write up being misleading. The lead-in talks about Apple's use of an app for "just about everything" but the actual article points to the complaints being against the "only on the iPhone" statement. So, I will now sue AI for employing a bait and switch scheme to get me to read this article under false pretenses.
post #15 of 26
There's an App for that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by floccus View Post

I'm going to complain to the same board about this write up being misleading. The lead-in talks about Apple's use of an app for "just about everything" but the actual article points to the complaints being against the "only on the iPhone" statement. So, I will now sue AI for employing a bait and switch scheme to get me to read this article under false pretenses.
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post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

There's an App for that...

True, it automatically bring up the map app with a permanent pin on that East Texas district where everyone files all those patent infringement lawsuits against apple and others...


More on the suit at hand, even if there wasn't "an app for that".. that would give someone an incentive to make one.. capitalism at its best.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by electronymous View Post

They had a ruling about this? I'm glad they weren't my tax dollars.

The ASA is not funded by the tax payer, but by the advertising industry itself. And it deals in pounds not dollars.
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post #18 of 26
Well after all, Apple never directly said that Android DOESN'T have an app for "just about everything."*

* It doesn't
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

There must be some real hard core Apple haters in the UK to keep making these complaints.

Microsoft has a very big presence in the UK, bigger than the US proportionately, Govt and BBC for starters. BBC paid MS loads of money (around half a billion dollars IIRC) for their streaming media when they had no need having their own in house plus alternatives like open source and Quicktime etc. Lots of good stuff about it on http://www.groklaw.net/

All these Apple advert complaints are most likely to be MS astroturfing whether paid for directly or indirectly.
post #20 of 26
What bothers me most about these advertising complaints is their insincerity. I never hear about HP or Dell ad complaints. No one is trying to protect consumers from misleading claims in these ads; they are just trying to poke Apple in the eye with a sharp stick. These are either Apple haters who have nothing better to do with their time, or competitors who are trying to win in court what they can't win in the marketplace.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

What bothers me most about these advertising complaints is their insincerity. I never hear about HP or Dell ad complaints. No one is trying to protect consumers from misleading claims in these ads; they are just trying to poke Apple in the eye with a sharp stick. These are either Apple haters who have nothing better to do with their time, or competitors who are trying to win in court what they can't win in the marketplace.

Before you go stark raving conspiracist, let's start by showing us a Dell or HP ad that you think was misleading. Besides, it sounds like anyone can make a complaint to this board, why make a fuss about the "other" side if "your" side should be able to make a complaint, but so far that we've heard, hasn't happened. The Apple ads make news because it's Apple. If Dell got smacked down by the same process, would we really hear about it?
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Gee I wish we could complain about ads in the US and get them pulled due to misleading information... Billy Mays would have been out of business a long time ago.

And imagine political ads. We truly do need such a watch dog here.
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post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

And imagine political ads. We truly do need such a watch dog here.

Amen. I have long been thinking that if some really altruistic independently wealthy person wanted to do a tremendous service to the county he/she would fund a program (oh hell, even a channel) devoted to debunking all the bogus, fraudulent, exaggerated, and downright false claims made in television advertising, both commercial and political. I am sure some talented writers and directors could come up with a concept that would be both funny and incisive. Imagine a John Stewart caliber humorist focused exclusively on this topic. The purpose would not be to be funny, but humor can be the hook to get people to watch. There could even be segments hosted by someone like The Amazing Randy who has devoted his life to debunking frauds.

Why private funding? You can guess. If this program had sponsors they would be fleeing in droves. The legal department of this channel would have to have more funding than the creative!

Hey, I can dream can't I?
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post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

There's an App for that...

HAHAHA. He should tell Kasper about it.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

And imagine political ads. We truly do need such a watch dog here.

Moderators? Where are you? Just kidding..
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Gee I wish we could complain about ads in the US and get them pulled due to misleading information... Billy Mays would have been out of business a long time ago.

No 'Pitch Men' TV ads in Europe?!?! My goodness what on earth do you do when you can't get back to sleep at 3AM??
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