PC World rapped for laptop ad

Sixty-five viewers complained after seeing PC World’s new television ad campaign selling the joys of wireless internet access, resulting in the ad getting banned for being misleading.

The ad, created by M&C Saatchi, is set in a PC World store where an assistant is demonstrating a laptop to a female customer.

The assistant describes it as the “latest Packard Bell with Intel Centrino mobile technology, so you have got a connection to the internet wherever you are… Intel Centrino mobile technology for just £499.”

All 65 complainants thought the ad was misleading, with most taking issue with the claim “wherever you are” because they believed wireless internet connection was only possible in locations within range of a connection point.

However, it failed to make clear that customers would need additional items costing up to £89 for the computer to go wireless.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled “We considered viewers were likely to receive a misleading impression of the availability of wireless connectivity from the ad.”

Intel’s website stated that the number of wireless access points was expected to quadruple between 2003 and 2007. This implied that access was not as extensive as it was expected to be, the ASA said.