Apple wins ad standards conflict over Siri in the UK
When the iPhone 4S and Siri first arrived in the UK last October, carrier Vodafone created a website ad that promoted the features of Apple’s intelligent assistant.
The ad touted (among other things) that Siri “can even use information from your iPhone — such as your location, contacts and contact relationships — to provide intelligent, personal assistance.” Some Siri location features only work in the U.S. at this time, so a Vodafone customer complained to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the ad.
Vodafone passed the ball to Apple, saying that the company had given the offending text to their ad team. The ASA ruled in favor of Apple and Vodafone on Wednesday, saying that the advertisement was not misleading.
The ad did not specifically state that Siri had maps-based functionality in the UK, but did show location-based weather reports — something that Siri can do in the UK. As a result, the ASA felt that the ad was accurate.
The ASA also noted that some consumers may have had knowledge of what Siri can do in the U.S., and that they 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, and since the ad didn’t “explicitly or implicitly” make such claims, it was not misleading.
The moral of the story? Before you file a formal complaint about a tech advertisement being misleading, be sure to check the features for your own country.
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