The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints about TV advertisements by Motorola Mobility for the Motorola DEFY smartphone. The ads showed the phone being dropped in a nightclub with an on-screen message reading “dance floor proof”. However, three complainants said they had dropped their phones accidentally and the screens had cracked.
Motorola Mobility UK said it strongly believed the ads were not misleading. The company had conducted extensive drop testing on the model and had designed the phone to be robust; it was screwed together, had a locking battery compartment, a thick plastic casing and impact-resistant glass.
Test results suggested there was approximately 1.5% probability of the product failing due to material damage after being dropped from the height shown in the ad, with only 0.1% due to display failure.
The ASA considered that viewers were not likely to interpret the ads as suggesting the product was entirely damage-resistant. However, it also said that it hadn’t seen any evidence that directly reflected the scenario shown in the ads - and also noted that each of Motorola’s own tests resulted in damage to the phones.
As a result, because the ASA wasn’t shown any evidence that dropping the DEFY from the height shown in the ads would not damage the phone, it concluded that the ads exaggerated the performance of the product.
Earlier this year, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint against a TV advertisement for the Motorola Atrix that described the device as “the world’s most powerful smartphone”.