HTC’s latest ad pulled due to exaggeration of water resistance

Ricky, 06 April 2018

The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority banned one of HTC’s ads that have been running on social media since mid-last year. The ad in question features Olympic diver, Tom Daley, diving into a pool, feet first (after a flip or two), holding the HTC U11 over his head, taking selfies on his decent into the pool, and after being seen exit the pool with the phone in hand. .

Despite having a disclaimer at the bottom, it wasn’t enough for the ASA to deem the ad as misleading. It highlighted the fact that the product’s instructions explicitly warn users against intentionally submerging the phone into water and that it should not come in contact with pool water. In the event that it does is, its buttons shouldn’t be pressed, either.

HTC defended the ad, claiming that the device’s IP67 rating meant it was safe for up to 1m deep of water. However, the ASA rebutted that an average person out of a few that’d attempt the stunt would not have a good chance of keeping the phone above 1m deep. HTC apologized for the misleading ad.

Don't try this stunt, Tom's a professional. HTC U11 has an IP67 rating... - Ad disclaimer

The ad was ordered to be taken down from Facebook and the ASA understands that it expects HTC to taken down across all media and it will remind the company if any versions of it linger around. The ad still exists in re-uploads.

The ad was able to run for the majority of the HTC U11's product cycle and the HTC U12+ is just over the horizon, possibly due for a May arrival.



Reader comments

First off, HTC tends to go with a lower rating that they can pass, rather than a higher rating that they might fail, like Samsung did when multiple phones failed in Consumer Reports water testing. Even though Samsung's rating was IP68 instead of IP67...

  • AnonD-754421

FWIW The S9 is has a higher rating than the HTC.

  • AnonD-754421

Not so simple, Huawei's ads of the P20Pro include phrases like "this is a professional camera" (most certainly not) and "a professional photographer all in one tiny chip" (the so-called "AI" actually does more harm than good), I can't believe that bl...

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