The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint made about online advertising for the Sony Xperia SP smartphone.
A page on the www.sonymobile.com website had described the phone has having “an exquisite aluminium frame”. It went on to mention a “co-moulded aluminium frame” and a “transparent/aluminium frame” before describing colour choices “which complement the metal structure as well as the quality of each component”.
However, a customer who’d bought the phone said the ad was misleading because he didn’t believe that the frame was made from aluminium.
Sony Mobile responded by saying the exterior frame of the device was made from pieces of aluminium and plastic moulded together. Each side was solid aluminium whilst the top edge, bottom edge and corners were plastic. The entire frame was painted, which meant any aluminium parts weren’t visible.
In upholding the complaint, the ASA said the product images showed metallic-coloured elements on the exterior of the phone. This, combined with the references to a “transparent/aluminium frame” and the colours chosen to “complement the metal structure”, implied that the external edge of the phone was made from aluminium rather than an aluminium/plastic composite with none of the aluminium visible.
It’s told Sony to make sure it doesn’t imply that materials used in a product’s construction were visible externally if that isn’t the case.