ASA Adjudication on LG Electronics UK Ltd
LG Electronics UK Ltd
250 Bath Road
8 August 2012
Internet (on own site)
Number of complaints:
A web page, including a video, on www.lg.com, for the new LG 42LW550T Television. The web page stated, "THE NEXT GENERATION 3D TV", further text stated, "The LW5 series is available in a variety of screen sizes all with Smart TV - so you can watch the best of the internet on the big screen and access all your favourite media from multiple devices from the comfort of your living room sofa". The voice-over on the video stated, "You and your family will be entertained for hours by enjoying the best of the internet directly on the big screen, without the need for a computer." During this the video featured the logos of BBC iPlayer, YouTube, ace trax Movies, Facebook and Google. The voice-over continued, "You can access all your favourite shows from the last seven days with BBC iPlayer, connect with friends on social networking services like Facebook and twitter, watch YouTube videos, download apps from the LG Apps Store and even access your favourite websites with the onboard web browser".
The complainant challenged whether the claims, "you can watch the best of the internet directly on the big screen, without the need for a computer" and "You can ... even access your favourite websites with the onboard web browser" were misleading because they understood that the device did not support recent versions of Adobe Flash Player and therefore a variety of web content could not be accessed.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
LG Electronics UK Ltd (LG) stated that the LG Smart TV platform used by the TV in the ad supported Flash Lite 3.1, which was released in February 2009. They said that over 50% of the world's top websites did not use Flash, although estimates for the total number of websites using Flash varied. The LG Smart TV platform was compatible with the vast majority of popular websites which did use Flash. LG submitted lists from an independent source showing the most popular websites on the internet, both globally and in the UK; of these sites the vast majority could be accessed by the device's web browser, but the video content on some could not be viewed. LG believed that for most of these websites, the video content did not play a major role and would not, in their opinion, adversely affect the average consumer's enjoyment of the service.
All of the websites featured in the ad could be accessed via the LG Smart TV platform and LG believed it could also access nearly all significant multimedia websites. They submitted an independent third-party report which stated that YouTube and BBC iPlayer, both accessible via pre-installed applications, accounted for 80% of all Internet visits to video sites in the UK. YouTube also featured official catch-up TV services from major channels (such as 'Demand 5' and '4oD') and TV programmes. Because the ad did not claim the entirety of the world wide web would be available through the product, and the most important and most likely video content that users would want to watch would be available, they did not believe the ad was misleading.
The ASA noted that all the logos and applications referred to on the website and the video were accessible using the product; either via the in-built web browser or 'bundled applications' that were pre-installed on the device. We noted the complainant objected to the ad because he understood that the device could not access media content on websites that used recent versions of Flash. We also noted that the complainant was disappointed to discover that video content on several popular 'catch-up TV' websites was not available via the device's web-browser, due to those website using more recent versions of Flash.
We noted the website stated "you can watch the best of the internet on the big screen" and "You and your family will be entertained for hours by enjoying the best of the internet directly on the big screen, without the need for a computer". We considered that, in the context of an ad for an internet-enabled television, the average consumer would infer from the references to 'watching' the internet and "your family will be entertained for hours" that online video content could be accessed via the device. Furthermore, we considered the sub-claim, "without the need for a computer", was an allusion to consumers plugging their computers into their TVs in order to watch online video content on a larger/better screen. We noted that some online video content was not accessible through the device's web browser, but we acknowledged the ad had not claimed that all of the internet could be accessed. Because the services shown in the video were available and accounted for a large proportion of online visits to video sites in the UK, we considered that the claim was adequately substantiated.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.9 (Qualification) and 3.11 (Exaggeration) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.