Apple, Skype under ASA spotlight


Apple’s advertising of the iPhone was called into question by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last month after it attracted 10 complaints from viewers.


The television advertisement in question highlighted the manufacturer’s App Store, stating certain applications were available “only on the iPhone”.


Ten viewers challenged whether the advertisement was misleading, because the T-Mobile Android-powered G1 phone had a similar application market place.


Apple countered that it featured a range of applications that were only available via its App Store to users because its reputation meant many brands and developers launch their applications only through the Apple App Store.


Adjudicators acknowledged that Apple’s phrase was not misleading and Apple was not found in breach of any Advertising Standards Codes.


Meanwhile, VoIP provider Skype has had to pull a television advertisement after it was deemed as misleading. Five viewers challenged whether the ad misleadingly exaggerated the sound and picture quality that could be achieved by using Skype.


Skype said it wanted to show a Skype video call in its best light and used equipment to demonstrate the best possible quality that could be achieved and the advertisement therefore did not show a real time Skype video call.


The ASA ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form as it misled viewers into thinking that the quality shown was typical of a user’s experience.