The Advertising Standards Authority in Britain, egged on by around twenty four complaints it received from users, will now be assessing Apple’s third-generation iPad advertisements. The assessment will be to establish if the matter warrants a full-fledged investigation.
An unspecified source at a leading mobile operator told the Financial Times that there was disagreement over how the device should be promoted. There were reservations as the promotional materials contained references to Wi-Fi and 4G. “We asked them to change it and pushed back relatively hard on the 4G stuff. They normally tell us what to say and when, which is fine as they know their business but suddenly they talk about the network and it went all wrong. The 4G references are going.”
Complainants are refuting Apple ads claim that the new iPad is 4G capable and that the 4G standards work only in the US and Canada and not in Great Britain. In countries where 4G is available it works on a different network frequency. Britain does not have 4G yet and even when it does have it, the frequency will not be the same, rendering the 4G standards ineffectual to users in the United Kingdom.
It was censured by the courts in Australia, which insisted that it clarifies to customers that the iPad is not compatible with the 4G mobile network in Australia. Apple was, not only forced to change its promotional material, as per the courts dictates, it also emailed customers who had already purchased the device, and offered them refunds, if they so desired.
Unwilling to face the music again, Apple is trying to fortify its case. It has updated its website since the launch and has noticeably stated that the 4G will work only in the US and Canada. Fine print on its UK online stores further caution buyers: “4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US, and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada. See your carrier for details.”
However, this may not be enough to avert an investigation by the Advertising Standards Agency because it has the power to take action with the benefit of hindsight. ASA could base its investigations on Apple’s original claims and considering that Australian courts have already pronounced their guilty verdict, this time the rap on the knuckles could be a little harder.Apple Ads under Scanner Again, but this Time it’s in the United Kingdom by Harrison Barnes