Apple iPhone ad banned in UK due to "misleading" claims

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Advertising regulators in the UK have ruled that one of Apple's iPhone television commercials mislead customers and ordered it banned from further broadcast.



The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it received complaints from two local viewers who took issue with a claim in the 30-second spot which stated that "all the 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.



When contacted by the ASA, Apple said it built the Safari web browser on the iPhone using open standards, and that it could not reasonably assure compatibility with every third party plug-in or technology on the market.



The Cupertino-based company also argued that the reference in the ad to "all parts of the internet" was simply aimed at highlighting Internet site availability, not to every aspect of functionality available on every website.



The ASA noted Apple's argument that the ad was about site availability rather than technical detail, but considered in its deliberation that the claims "Youll never know which part of the internet youll 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," the watchdog said in a statement. "We concluded that the ad gave a misleading impression of the internet capabilities of the iPhone."







Specifically, the ASA ruled that the ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 5.1 (Misleading advertising), 5.2.1 (Evidence) and 5.2.2 (Implications). It has banned the commercial from further broadcast in its current form.



Readers interested in the backstory to Flash and its absence on the iPhone should check out AppleInsider's three-part series Flash Wars.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 173
    phizzphizz Posts: 142member
    Agh... I'm sure they'll just reword it to something which basically means the same thing but is immune to these cry-baby complaints.
  • Reply 2 of 173
    It appears that no phone, or browser, can make the claim that they handle "all parts of the internet".



    Nothing to see here..... move along.
  • Reply 3 of 173
    As a web designer, I con't consider Flash and Java as native web languages ? when I feel particularly picky, I barely consider them web languages at all. Plus I'm the essence of Apple fanboyism (if that's a word), and I'm outraged. Really, I am.

  • Reply 4 of 173
    Time for these people to get a life!
  • Reply 5 of 173
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    The right approach to fixing this issue is to stop people using Flash and Java on their websites.
  • Reply 6 of 173
    sapporobabysapporobaby Posts: 1,079member
    For the most part, when doing a side by side comparison between my iPhone and my Nokia N82, the N82 will run more sites than the iPhone. So in truth the complaint is valid and Apple is wrong, however this could be nit picking on the part of the ASA. At the end of the day, it is false advertising by Apple be you a fanboy or not, the facts are the facts.
  • Reply 7 of 173
    TUBES! It should be "all of the >>TUBES<< of the internet are on the iphone!" idiots!
  • Reply 8 of 173
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post


    For the most part, when doing a side by side comparison between my iPhone and my Nokia N82, the N82 will run more sites than the iPhone. So in truth the complaint is valid and Apple is wrong, however this could be nit picking on the part of the ASA. At the end of the day, it is false advertising by Apple be you a fanboy or not, the facts are the facts.



    So what you're saying is Nokia also can not make the claim that all sites will work.

    So much for any of THIS mattering at all......
  • Reply 9 of 173
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    It's a very valid complaint. 90%+ of "professional" websites using Flash in one form or another - including AI. The iPhone doesn't give you the whole of the web (let alone the Internet) and that's a fact.



    Now if only the ASA could do something about all these ISPs/mobile operators claiming to offer "unlimited" services...
  • Reply 10 of 173
    mark wmark w Posts: 13member
    They stopped showing that ad when the iPhone 3G came out anyway (notice that in the YouTube clip, it shows a first generation phone that isn't even running the latest 1.x software) - so by the time they actually made the ruling, Apple had pulled it anyway.

    The ads currently out in the UK are "Everyone" and "Hallway" (although the Everyone ad is slightly different to the US version, for example, it depicts UK locations when demonstrating the Maps, also no service provider shows in the top bar, wheras in the US versions it shows "AT&T").
  • Reply 11 of 173
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post


    It appears that no phone, or browser, can make the claim that they handle "all parts of the internet".



    It's a thoroughly stupid phrase to use anyway. Internet != the web.



    On the other hand though, the lack of Java means I can't access the built in web server in the UPS for my servers with an iPhone whereas I can with my 5 year old SE so I have some sympathy with the complaint.
  • Reply 11 of 173
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post


    It appears that no phone, or browser, can make the claim that they handle "all parts of the internet".



    Nothing to see here..... move along.



    OK then - how about:

    "Half the Price"- NOt. (Vodoo math)

    "Twice as Fast"- Not. (Occasionally)
  • Reply 13 of 173
    foobarfoobar Posts: 103member
    ActiveX is missing, too!
  • Reply 14 of 173
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post


    So what you're saying is Nokia also can not make the claim that all sites will work.

    So much for any of THIS mattering at all......



    Nokia aren't making the claim.
  • Reply 15 of 173
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,225member
    Apple ad aside, what a novel concept ... 'Advertising Standards'! If they introduced 'Truth in advertising' laws here in US we'd have about four ads left!
  • Reply 16 of 173
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    It's a very valid complaint. 90%+ of "professional" websites using Flash in one form or another - including AI. The iPhone doesn't give you the whole of the web (let alone the Internet) and that's a fact.



    Now if only the ASA could do something about all these ISPs/mobile operators claiming to offer "unlimited" services...



    So true!



    How have ISP's gotten away with those claims of unlimited broadband and Apple get an immediate (but fair) slap on the wrist straight away?
  • Reply 17 of 173
    donlphidonlphi Posts: 214member
    That's right, before Flash and Java we didn't have the full Internet, we had 300 baud modems and bulletin boards. Who is the sysop over in the UK anyway?
  • Reply 18 of 173
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,390member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post


    So what you're saying is Nokia also can not make the claim that all sites will work.

    So much for any of THIS mattering at all......



    It matters a lot, a company made a false claim on an ad, a number of countries have bodies in place to protect consumers, and in this the body upheld a valid complaint.



    Sure there are people in these forums that know that Flash isn't a standard web feature, but there is a lot that don't, and would assume from the ad that it would work.
  • Reply 19 of 173
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,225member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    The right approach to fixing this issue is to stop people using Flash and Java on their websites.



    It would be neat if Apple could somehow run Flash within QuickTime the same way Flip4Mac handles .wmv and .avi files.
  • Reply 20 of 173
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    OK then - how about:

    "Half the Price"- NOt. (Vodoo math)



    Actually, it is half the price.

    (you do the math)



    Apple never advertised the cost of the plan with the old phone, and doesn't now either.

    The fact that (in the U.S.) AT&T is sticking it to you is not something Apple has concern

    over any more than Nokia or Rimm do. (which of course, they are sticking it to those

    users also....)



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    OK then - how about:

    "Twice as Fast"- Not. (Occasionally)



    Actually, a lot of users are getting much more than twice as fast.
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