Apple Wins Ad Standards Conflict Over Siri In UK

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When the iPhone 4S and Siri were launched in the United Kingdom (UK) last October, carrier Vodafone created a website advertisement that promoted the features of Siri, the intelligent assistant inside iPhone 4S. The advertisement said (among many other things) that Siri “can even use information from your iPhone – such as your location, contacts and contact relationships — to provide intelligent, personal assistance.”

At the moment, some Siri location features only work in the US. Thus, a Vodafone customer complained to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the ad.

Vodafone said that Apple had given the offending text to their ad team. On 29 February 2012, ASA ruled in favor of Apple and Vodafone, saying that the advertisement was not misleading.

Nowhere did the ad specifically state that Siri had maps-based functionality in the UK. However, it showed location-based weather reports – something that Siri can do in the UK. As a result, the ASA felt that the ad was accurate.

ASA noted that some consumers may have had the knowledge of what Siri could do in US. This consumers may have “read into the ad that Siri users in the UK would benefit from similar maps-based functionality.” The ASA felt that the average UK consumer would not know about that capability. Since the ad did not “explicitly or implicitly” make such claims, it could not be considered as misleading.

Now next time, you want to file a formal complaint about a technology advertisement being misleading, you should be sure to check the features for your own country before taking such step.

Source: TUAW

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