ITC upholds PC and healthcare complaints but rejects ‘shut up and drive’ car ad fears

PC World has been banned from running an ad for a Packard Bell PC by the Independent Television Commission after 143 viewers complained that it was misleading.

The voiceover for the ad, which features a 2 Ghz Packard Bell Power Plus PC with a Pentium 4 Processor, claimed “and that means faster Internet, faster graphics and faster games.”

Viewers complained that the ad was misleading because it was the connection medium, ISDN, cable modem or ADSL, and the capacity of the user’s Internet provider, which controls speed of access to the Internet, not the processor.

The ITC, in its latest report on advertising complaints, decided that the ad was capable of being misleading because it had not been made clear that it was the processing of Internet material that was made faster, and not connection to the Internet. It banned the ad from being re-shown in its current form.

The ITC also ruled that the health insurance company HSA should only run its ad, featuring a talking rabbit that is accidentally placed in a tumble dryer, after the 9pm watershed, following complaints from 110 viewers. The complainants had felt that the ad could be copied by children and should not be shown at a time when they could be watching TV.

A Toyota ad, which featured a young school girl getting into the back of a Corolla that belonged to another parent saying “shut up and drive” received 107 complaints from viewers, who feared that it could encourage children to approach strangers. The ITC accepted that in this case the child knew the adult well and did not uphold the complaints.

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