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Macs are more secure: official

World's most annoying adverts cleared

Reducing security risks from open source software

Apple's recent campaign claiming its machines were more secure and less likely to crash or pick up a virus than Windows PCs has been cleared by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

No word on whether the smugness of comedians Mitchell and Webb is likely to break acceptable bounds though.

A national press campaign included a picture of Webb holding a sign reading in part: "I run Mac OS X so you don't have to worry about the viruses and spyware that PCs do".

The ASA received 14 complaints, nine of which considered the virus claims misleading and irresponsible because viruses attack operating systems rather than machines and some PCs could run on operating systems, like Linux, which were just as safe as Mac OSX. Apple said the advert was meant to refer to PCs running Microsoft Windows and provided evidence that 97 per cent of home PCs - targeted by the ad - run Microsoft Windows. Apple identified 114,000 viruses that target PCs and that it did not claim Macs were entirely immune to viruses.

A second advert shown in cinemas and online showed Mitchell sneezing and warning his Mac mate Webb that he had a virus. The third advert subject to complaint was a cinema advert which showed the PC character played by Mitchell repeatedly freezing to illustrate a crashed PC.

The ASA ruled in Apple's favour in each of the three complaints.

Apple, you'll be relieved to hear, will not be running the adverts again.

The ASA ruling is available here. ®

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