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Thunderer blasts the Mac…

...and Mac users blast the Thunderer

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British daily newspaper the Times has pissed off the nation's Mac users be screening a TV ad in which a would-be computer buyer states: "I know I want a PC, not a Mac."

The ad, for the Times' Saturday edition, focused on promoting the 4 November issue's PC supplement.

Not surprisingly, UK Macatistas have spent the last few days hollering about media bias, anti-Mac attitudes on behalf of the Times editorial staff and even conspiracy theory guff about a plot between Microsoft and Times owner News International.

One Mac fan described the ad as an "extraordinarily offensive outrage", the poor dear.

Indeed, even Apple itself is a mite peeved, and has asked the Times for an explanation. "We are looking into this, we have spoken with the Times, and have requested a transcript of the ad," said Apple UK spokesman David Millar, according to MacWorld UK.

Still, there's not much it can do. Since the ad arguably reflects the character's opinion and not a statement of fact - the kid in question doesn't, after all, say a Mac isn't as good as a PC, whatever anyone else might think - it's unlikely to be ruled as a bad ad, either by the Independent Television Commission, which oversees Britain's commercial TV channels, or the Advertising Standards Authority, the ad watchdog.

Both bodies should expect a raft of complaints from hot-under-the-collar Macatistas, however, especially since quite a few of the latter are running around the newsgroups screaming 'revenge!' They clearly forget the major, positive media presence Apple has thanks to the regularity with which the iMac turns up on TV, in movies and ads in magazines and colour supplements of the type often bundled with the Times Saturday edition... ®

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