Apple's knuckles rapped again over latest iPhone ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a second iPhone advert, ruling that it exaggerated the speed of the device

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned another iPhone advert after consumers complained that it exaggerated the speed of the device.

A recent TV ad for the iPhone 3G stated: "So what's so great about 3G? It's what helps you get the news, really fast; find your way, really fast; and download pretty much anything, really fast. The new iPhone 3G. The internet — you guessed it — really fast."

The ad showed a close-up of the phone being used to surf a news web page, view the Google Maps service and download a file. All of those actions had waiting times of only a fraction of a second.

Seventeen people complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the ad was misleading because it exaggerated the speed of the iPhone.

The complaints were upheld by the watchdog, which said that an on-screen text disclaimer, stating "network performance will vary by location", was not enough to dispel the impression that the device actually operated at or near to the speeds shown in the ad.

The ASA failed to be convinced by Apple's argument that the claims made in the ad were relative, rather than absolute, and that it was intending to demonstrate the 3G iPhone allowed downloads and internet access that was "really fast" by comparison to the previous Edge device.

The ASA said in its adjudication: "Although we acknowledged that the majority of viewers would be familiar with mobile telephones, we considered that many might not be fully aware of the technical differences between the different types of technology. We also noted the ad did not give an explicit indication of a comparison with the older 2G iPhone."

The ASA has ruled the ad must not appear again in its current form.

This is not the first time Apple has been scolded over iPhone ads.

In August, the ASA banned another advert for the iPhone that promised users access to "all parts of the internet" on their Apple device, despite the phone's inability to display Flash or Java web content.