Feeds

PC World rapped for ad encouraging illegal use of iPod

Broadcast licence needed to use gadget

Remote control for virtualized desktops

PC World has been admonished by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for advertising a product which is illegal to use in the UK. An advert for an FM transmitter cannot be repeated in the same form, the ASA said.

Short range FM transmitters are smaller, less powerful versions of radio masts which send a signal a distance of a few feet. They are typically used to send music from an MP3 player or CD player to a radio, most commonly in a car.

In the UK anyone transmitting FM signals needs a broadcast licence, and the use of transmitters is illegal. Though the law will change in December to permit the use of transmitters, they remain illegal.

PC World published a newspaper advert which included the text "IPOD IN YOUR CAR!...JUST ARRIVED". Complaints were made that the advert was irresponsible because it encouraged the public to break the law.

PC World argued that it wanted to give the public the chance to use the product abroad ahead of its legalisation in the UK. It said it did notify consumers in the ad that use of transmitters was illegal here.

The ASA said putting that disclaimer in the small print of the advert was not adequate action to protect consumers against breaking the law.

"We considered that that was a significant condition and that referring to it only in the small print was likely to mislead consumers because small print was not prominent enough to make clear an important condition of that kind. As the condition that a license was required was not prominent enough, we considered that the ad could encourage the public to break the law and was irresponsible," said the ASA's ruling.

"We told PC World to state prominently in future ads the requirement to obtain a broadcasting license for the product and the fact that broadcasting licenses were not normally available to consumers," it said.

Communications regulator Ofcom consulted over the summer on whether or not to change the law regarding transmitters. The body has the power to change the regulations attached to the Wireless Telegraphy Act without the change going through Parliament.

"We are finalising the draft regulations and we hope that it will be put into effect to make them legal in early December," said an Ofcom spokeswoman.

See: The ASA ruling

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.