Skype’s TV advert 'misleading'

A TV advert for Skype, the popular Web-based calling and video firm, can never be broadcast again in its current form because it has the potential to mislead viewers.

Created by the London-based agency Albion, the advert for the tech pioneer’s internet calling software showed a new father talking to his parents via a webcam.

At one point in the ad, the father moves the position of his laptop so that his parents can, it appears after a bit of screen blurring, clearly see his partner and newborn baby.

Only after probing by the advertising watchdog, on the back of five viewer complaints, did Skype say that what was shown was not a real-time Skype video call.

For technical reasons, the firm said it was unable to shoot the ad with a webcam as it did not offer the quality for the recording to be compressed and then outputted for TV.

Trying to head off the viewers’ complaints that the ad exaggerated the software’s sound and picture quality, Skype said it had not improved it in post-production.

It also pointed out that when the laptop was moved, the image blurred and slowed, implying the experience would be dependent on the speed of an individual’s broadband connection.

The quality of the software conveyed by the filming method was “not so different as to mislead or cause disappointment”, Skype added, in agreement with ad clearance body Clearcast.

But the Advertising Standards Authority disagreed, saying that the quality of the software depicted “was not representative of the typical performance that users could achieve.” Play the best online juegos friv games are presented on this website mega portal.

In their ruling, the ASA went onto suggest that Skype missed a trick, as advertising rules do not prohibit the use of “techniques” to overcome technical problems in filming TV ads.

The ruling said: “We concluded that the ad could mislead and should therefore have included qualifying text to make clear that performance depended upon the speed and quality of a user’s broadband connection.”

The ad breached rules on the implications of promotions and was found to be misleading, the ASA said, and must never be broadcast again in its current form.


20th August 2009

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