PC World has escaped censure from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over national press advertisements which claimed incorrectly that an Intel Core 2 Duo processor is twice as fast as a single-core processor.
A sharp-eyed reader spotted the error when PC World ran an ad campaign for Advent laptops claiming: 'Core 2 Duo twice as fast [as] Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology with Core 2 Duo processor'.
The complainant argued that the wording was misleading as it implied that the Core 2 Duo would always be twice as fast as a single core processor.
In fact, because of shared hardware components, the Core 2 Duo would be no more than 1.7 times faster than a single-core processor.
PC World said in response to the complaint that the advertised laptop used Intel Core 2 Duo and Centrino technology.
The retailer pointed out that the text 'twice as fast' was linked to a footnote which explained that the claim was based on benchmarking against the performance of previous generation Intel Centrino technology, and that readers could learn more by visiting Intel's website.
PC World disagreed with the complainant's assertion that the ad implied that Core 2 Duo technology would always be twice as fast as a single-core processor because it was not being compared with a single-core processor.
The company added that it was reasonable to compare the performance of the current technology against that of the product's well known predecessor.
In addition PC World noted that the claim 'twice as fast' originated from Intel and sent the ASA a sample of the benchmarking data.
After examining the evidence, the ASA rejected the charges. "The ASA noted that the claim 'twice as fast' was linked to a footnote that made clear that it referred to the performance of the Core 2 Duo technology against previous generation Centrino technology," the watchdog stated.
"We also noted that Intel, through a recognised industry benchmarking system, had concluded that the Core 2 Duo was twice as fast as its immediate predecessor.
"We acknowledged that the ad made clear the basis for the 'twice as fast' claim and where readers could find out more information. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead."
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