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Watchdog Bans 'Misleading' iPhone TV Ad

An advertisement for Apple's iPhone has been banned in Britain because it claimed incorrectly that the gadget allowed users to access all content on the Internet, the advertising watchdog said Wednesday.

The television advert showed someone using an iPhone to browse for a weather forecast, an airport map, hotel information and a stock market webpage.

The accompanying voiceover says: "You never know which part of the Internet you'll need... which is why all the parts of the Internet are on the iPhone."

But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) watchdog said it had received two complaints from viewers who said the claim was misleading because the iPhone did not support Flash or Java.

Flash and Java are pieces of software installed on almost all personal computers which allow people to access Internet applications such as multimedia, streaming video and interactive games.

The ASA upheld the complaints, saying the advert gave a "misleading impression" of the iPhone's Internet capability because it had not explained these limitations.

Apple argued the advert aimed to highlight the fact the iPhone could access all websites, by contrast with many other handsets which only offer access to WAP (wireless application protocol) versions or sites selected by service providers.

The US firm believed it was clear the advert's reference to "all parts of the Internet" referred to site availability, not to every function available on every website, the ASA said in a ruling on its website.

The advertisement was for the original version of the iPhone, not the 3G version released in July, an ASA spokesman said. [AFP/Google News]

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