Sony Ericsson broke U.K. advertising rules when it depicted a Satio handset with a pre-installed Facebook app, ruled the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The ruling came after a Satio customer found that the handset did not come pre-installed with Facebook and was told the device was not compatible with the Facebook app.
In a response filed with the ASA, Sony Ericsson said that a software problem made the Facebook application initially unavailable for the phone and that the glitch had since been fixed. The company also said that access to the Facebook website was integrated with links on the phone and that they had made no claims regarding the level of functionality these links would allow.
Sony Ericsson’s claims contradicted a statement from Clearcast, the British regulator which vets scripts for television commercials. In a response filed with the ASA, Clearcast said it had received assurance from Sony Ericsson that the Facebook application was pre-loaded onto the handset and would not have cleared the ad if they had been aware of the software problem.
Clearcast’s statement prompted the ASA to uphold the complaint and ruled that Sony Ericsson had breached three separate broadcast television advertising standards codes, including a code governing misleading advertising. The ASA ordered Sony Ericsson to make sure product functionality depicted in ads was accurate at the time the ad was broadcast.