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PC World ad banned for overselling 'wherever you are' wireless claim

LONDON - Sixty-five viewers got wound up by PC World's new television ad campaign selling the joys of wireless internet access, resulting in the ad getting banned for being misleading.

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

The assistant describes it as the "latest Packard Bell with Intel Centrino mobile technology... so you've 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.

Some complained that the ad did not make it clear that additional equipment, such as modems and routers, were necessary for wireless internet access.

The two sets of complaints were upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority after investigation.

On the first point, PC World had told the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre that wireless internet coverage was now generally excellent and on a par with mobile phone coverage.

However, the ASA found information to the contrary on the Intel and PC World's websites and decided PC World had not supplied enough evidence to back up its claim to the BACC.

On the second point, the ASA said "the ad implied that no further equipment would need to be purchase to access the internet", but it was told by PC World's customer helpline that items such as a wireless modem and router needed to be purchased separately.

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