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Technology (Apple) Businesses Apple Technology

Apple G5 Ads Banned In UK 709

Justen writes "The Independent Television Commission has quietly banned Apple from airing an advertisement (in QuickTime here) for the Power Mac G5 in the UK. The Committee says that, prior to the initial broadcast of the ad, it was critical of the assertion that the Power Mac G5 is "the world's fastest, most powerful personal computer." However, Apple supplied what was asserted to be "fair and even" data, based partially on SPEC benchmarks, which "substantiated" Apple's claims and "satisfied" the concerns of their "IT expert." However, the Committee says some "viewers complained that the advertising was misleading," and thus, after an investigation, it reversed its original decision. The Committee has now decided that the ad "should not be re-shown in its current form." Conspiracy theorists take note, Apple's sales in the UK are up 36%, so far, this year."
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Apple G5 Ads Banned In UK

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  • by Cyphertube ( 62291 ) on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:09PM (#7437934) Homepage Journal

    While some Apple fans may consider this censorship, personally I applaud the enforcement of standards in advertising.

    If standards were forced for truth-in-advertising in the U.S., we'd not only never hear about the G5 being the fastest computer, we'd also not hear about how much we can do for so little from Microsoft. We'd also stop having the stupid claims in oversized truck and SUV ads, diet pills, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:10PM (#7437942)
    I remember learning on a tour of Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory that in the UK, one cannot advertise anything that cannot be _PROVEN_. IIRC, Ben and Jerry's had to rename one of their flavors from something like "World's Best Ice Cream" to something else.

    This seems like an instance of _that_.

    PLEASE, no one make any "lickable" puns.

  • by Carnildo ( 712617 ) on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:14PM (#7437994) Homepage Journal
    If the standards were enforced, there'd be a severe shortage of ad revenue for television programs.
  • Superfalous? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DarkBlackFox ( 643814 ) on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:15PM (#7438010)
    I don't think any particular computer can be considered "the fastest in the world." Each architecture is designed such that one will always outshine the other in a specific set of functions. Apple may be faster in benchmark X, while Intel is faster in benchmark Y, while AMD is faster in benchmark Z, etc. etc. Apple does have some validity to their claim, but so would Intel and AMD if they were to announce themselves as the fastest in the world to.

    That's after the fact though. Companies will always proclaim their products as "the best, the fastest, the strongest." It's a fact of marketing- what company would say "Our products are mediocre, behind X and Y" and expect decent sales?
  • Eight viewers? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OECD ( 639690 ) on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:16PM (#7438029) Journal

    They pulled the ad because EIGHT viewers complained? That's a little more responsive than over here in the US. (I'm not sure that's a good thing.)

  • Re:Which conspiracy? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rura Penthe ( 154319 ) on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:18PM (#7438059)
    What a shame such "integrity" doesn't actually extend to anything but a very few "unpopular" ads. How many people who complained about this ad were "that guy".

    You all know the one I'm talking about. The guy you knew in middle school who hated Macs for no apparent reason. The one who would crow about bad financial reports while you were just trying to eat your Jello. Or maybe it's a "tech" guy you know who can't understand why anyone would use a Mac. "Windows is everywhere, it's clearly better" he'll say. Or "It's good enough, who cares about using anything else, Macs suck".

    There is an astounding amount of vitriol between Windows zealots and Apple (and of course Apple zealots and Microsoft). I find it difficult to credit this ad's banishment in the UK to "integrity in advertising". Instead I'd chalk it up to "caving to zealotry" on the part of the politicos.
  • by kandresen ( 712861 ) on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:20PM (#7438080)
    In Norway we have similar rules: You cannot air commercial claiming something that might be false.

    That means you cannot say your price is cheaper or faster or whatevre unless we are talking about to totally identical products. We are not here. The processor in the mac is totally different from a processor from AMD, Intel, Sun, etc. I can guarantee that if you compare a totally specialized processor for only one single operation, then that processor might be faster than the G5 processor in that particular field.
    It will then be false to say the processor used in the G5 is faster, even though the other only was faster on lets say integar calculations...
  • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:45PM (#7438373) Homepage
    The next time you watch TV ads, take note of the wording of their claims. It's usually something very vague, or followed by small print / fast talking disclaimer. People have gotten used to this.

    Apple, on the other hand, blatently lied, saying their new G5 was "the worlds fastest, most powerful personal computer". They didn't say it was faster at a certain task, nor did they even mention it requires a unique OS and unique software. To 90% of the population, a Personal Computer is an x86 box running MS Windows.

    Apple has made huge lies in their ads for years. They were finally caught. All I can say is "ITS ABOUT TIME!".

    The Dell Intern ads may be annoying as all hell, but at least they're honest.
  • by merlin_jim ( 302773 ) <James@McCracken.stratapult@com> on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:52PM (#7438433)
    personally I applaud the enforcement of standards in advertising

    I for one welcome our new borg overlords!

    But seriously folks truth-in-advertising laws are a very good thing... see Niven's known world series for some good speculation on what might happen in a world where lying advertisers are put to death...
  • by Rick.C ( 626083 ) on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:45PM (#7438950)
    The most blatent example of weird ad wording, IMHO, was the Hostess Cupcakes ad several years ago. Mom gives the kids some cupcakes and says to the camera, "I like to know that my kids are getting a nutritional snack when they come home from school."

    Nutritional? She must have meant "nutritious," right? How can they possibly claim that Hostess Cupcakes are nutritious? But wait - when the ad company is spending big bucks to shoot an ad, wouldn't they just reshoot the scene if the actress blows the line? One would think.

    So they obviously meant "nutritional." I looked up the word in the dictionary and found that it simply means "edible."

    See? There is truth in advertising!

  • Re:Silver lining... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @03:13AM (#7441999) Homepage
    ' Apple may have had their ads pulled...but look at all the free media advertizing the story generated ;-)"

    I was waiting for someone to pull the PR aspect of this out of the mix!

    Welcome to the age where PR is becoming more credible/cost effective than advertising. It hasn't happened yet, but it will.

    I work in the advertising/marketing/PR industry, and I can tell you something that I'm sure many have realized already. Advertising is losing effectiveness (thanks to spam/bannerads/popups) and is losing credibility (that's mostly the work of spam, although Leptoprin ads probably assists it). Trust me, we in the industry know that the more we throw at you, the more you ignore it. We may not ALL be geeks who know whats going on, but quite a few of us are, and we know the solution is to put out BETTER ads, and less of them.

    However, there are the dumbasses, such as spammers, who are ruining it for the rest of us by saturating everybody with ads. And for now, its still profitable for them, so they keep doing it.

    However, PR is evening the playingfield. PR often goes undetected, whereas advertising has laws making them state it is advertising. Also, PR tends to be a lot cheaper than buying media, and designing/producing the content for it.

    Now, obviously there is bad PR, and by bad I don't mean bad publicity (like how almost all publicity is good publicity), but I mean poorly done PR. Like for example, often times I see stories posted on Slashdot that are COMPLETELY obvious PR plants. Take the recent Games section article Prince of Persia [] was a blatant example of a poorly done press release. You should realize Gamespot is really nothing more than a PR firm with a different company description right? Any way, you could SMELL press release on this article, and THAT is an example of when people notice a press release. Often times, with PR, if its good PR, you don't notice it.

  • by tomem ( 542334 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:47AM (#7443716) Homepage Journal
    Last year the fastest cheapest processor we could find for our numerical simulation work was an Intel Gateway 3GHz, which cost about $2500, and has been wildly successful in attracting users away from older Sun workstations, around which it runs rings and Linux.

    This year, we will upgrade to a dual processor system, with an eye toward eventual clustering of larger numbers of them. In comparing dual Xeons with dual G5s, we find that the test numbers are a tossup (Macworld reports PCs are faster; while PCmag resports Macs are a bit faster, which they call "about even"). One thing that isn't much discussed is the big jump in bus speed for the G5, which approaches 1GHz, compared with a typical 400MHz for Intel systems. This should be a boon to I/O intensive jobs.

    Surprisingly, the deciding factor may be price: we get bids of about $4k for a dual Xeon system that is equipped comparably with a dual G5 that bids at $3k. So if the top Macs aren't definitively faster, they are at least certifiably cheaper! Who knew?

    But Apple would clearly prefer to be fastest rather than cheapest, and hence their advertising approach stresses speed for the money rather than money for the speed. One person's miles per gallon is another's liters per 100km...

    This continuing competition is clearly a win-win situation for consumers. May it continue...
  • by Dougal ( 1492 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @12:14PM (#7444602) Homepage
    This isn't a first for Apple in the UK. When they first used the PowerPC they advertised it as the first RISC based home computer. That might have been true in the US, but in the UK the ARM based Acorn Archimedes had already been out for a while, so they were forced to pull that ad.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 13, 2003 @03:09AM (#7461946)
    Ok, so it takes 8 AMD folks to take down an ad of Apples. They have 8 folks complain and they ask one tech what he thinks?? Comeon..they could've atleast got 5 folks together and to get the numbers and see if Apple had a case or not.
    Hell why didn't they even test the machine?

    But it won't matter because Apple will just put up the same add in 2 months in the UK. Because Apple is slated to release the dual 2.5GHz at the end of Jan and the dual 3GHz by the end of Jun. Apple has 6 month cycle plan now in effect that means about every 6 months the processor goes up 500MHz.

    Also there is now talks that IBM's new PPC 970's will run Linux and OSX.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb