Motorola guilty of misleading customers over DEFY claims


Advertising Standards Authority finds Motorola guilty over misleading customers that DEFY handset was “life proof”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned Motorola from running TV adverts claiming its DEFY handset is “life proof”.

The ASA investigated the claims made by Motorola in an ad campaign in April following three complaints from consumers that claimed the screens on their DEFY handsets had broken after being accidentally dropped.

It followed reports that BBC consumer protection show Watchdog was set to investigate the claims made by Motorola in August.

Motorola Mobility UK Ltd told the ASA it “strongly believed” the ads were not misleading and did not exaggerate the capability or performance of the product.

The manufacturer claimed the DEFY has a “scratch resistant display that had specific resistance to bumps, impacts, scrapes and scratches, because it was chemically strengthened to create a layer that acted as an ‘armour’ to reduce the introduction of flaws by end users.”

It also claimed the type of glass used on the device had been “exhaustively impact-tested” and its performance under stress was the reason for the selection of the particular material for the DEFY screen.

Motorola also maintained that the same DEFY handsets available on general sale had been used in the ad, which was shot live and without the use of computer generated imagery.

But the ASA upheld the complaints saying the advert was misleading for customers.

“We considered viewers were not likely to interpret the ads as suggesting the product was entirely damage-resistant or that there would not sometimes be faulty handsets but as promoting a product that was more durable than might be expected of a mobile phone and that it would generally withstand damage in the scenarios depicted and from day to day,” a statement from the ASA said.

The ASA ordered Motorola not to run the advert again in its current form.