Official Complaints Over '4G' Marketing of New iPad Taking Hold in Europe
Yesterday, we noted that Australian regulators are targeting Apple over its "misleading" marketing of the new iPad as a "4G" device in the country despite the fact that the device is incompatible with LTE networks being rolled out there. In response, Apple has offered refunds to customers who feel they were misled by the marketing.
Concerns over the 4G marketing are now getting the attention of regulators in several European countries as well, with The Wall Street Journal noting that the Swedish Consumer Agency is also considering launching an investigation into the matter.
Marek Andersson, a lawyer at the authority whose task is to safeguard consumer interests in Sweden, said the consumer agency has received several complaints from consumers over marketing which touts the new iPad as having 4G connectivity. [...]
“One may rightfully ask if the marketing of the new iPad is misleading,” Mr. Andersson said. While iPad is equipped with 4G connectivity, it will only work in the U.S. and Canada.
“The question is whether this information is clear enough in Apple’s marketing,” he added.
Meanwhile, Pocket-lint reports that a similar situation is playing out in the United Kingdom, where the Advertising Standards Authority is also fielding complaints from customers about the issue.
“We are aware of the news from Australia regarding the iPad 4G marketing claim,” an ASA spokeswoman told us. “Without going through due process we can't say whether the (UK) ad is likely to be problematic. If anyone has concerns about the iPad ad then they can lodge a complaint with us and we will establish whether or not there is a problem under the Code.”
The UK has strict regulation of advertising claims, and Apple's marketing has been the subject of several decisions from the ASA. In 2008, the agency banned an iPhone ad over misleading claims, while a more recent decision regarding claims of the world's thinnest smartphone came down in Apple's favor. The ASA also ruled in Apple's favor last month in a dispute over advertising for Siri on the iPhone 4S.