ASA upholds complaints about Apple iPhone 3G’s web claims

IPhoneA TV ad claiming the Apple iPhone 3G offers “really fast” internet has been banned by the advertising regulator for being misleading.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling against the campaign, created by TBWA/London, comes at the crucial Christmas trading time for the handset, which was launched this summer.

The ad, which shows a close-up of the product being used to view a news page, says/ “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 triggered 17 complaints. The ASA ruled that the claim was misleading because it was likely to lead viewers to believe that the device operated at or near to the speeds shown in the ad, which is not the case. Apple has been advised not to repeat the ad in its current form.

– The ASA has also upheld complaints against a poster ad for Tiger Beer, featuring a lady-boy with the strapline: “The Far East’s most desirable export since 1932.” The campaign was created by CHI & Partners.

The ASA ruled that the tagline alongside the image of a lady-boy was offensive and could potentially be linked to human trafficking.

– The Sun has also been censured by the ASA for using the word “bloody” on a poster ad.

The ad, in paid-for-space on a lorry side, said: “Where the bloody hell were you?” against a background of the Union Jack. It showed Great Britain’s 2008 Olympic gold medal tally of 19 compared with Australia’s 14.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here