Watchdog urged to probe Microsoft's cloud claims... again
Why don't you have another crack at it, ASA?
The Advertising Standards Authority has been asked to reopen an investigation into Microsoft's boasts of 99.9 per cent uptime for its cloud services.
The plea follows complaints that the ad watchdog did not properly tackle Redmond the first time round.
Instead, Microsoft told the regulatory body that it had "omitted" the word "guarantee" in error and had amended the ads, making it clear that the uptime promise was linked to an appropriate service-level agreement (SLA) that justified the claims, according to a letter from the ASA seen by The Reg.
"Because Microsoft has already assured us that the advertising complained about has been amended, we consider there is little to be gained from continuing with a formal investigation," the ASA wrote.
But the customer said that he was returning to ASA to ask it to revisit the complaint.
"The ASA completely got the wrong end of the stick and thought I was complaining about the word 'guarantee'," he told El Reg.
"I have to pen a new complaint being specific about Microsoft not meeting their advertised SLA rather than stressing the 'guarantee' issue, which is important of itself, but only as a remedy," he added.
Microsoft told El Reg that it is taking the reliability of its cloud services seriously. ®
Seemingly a lot more frequently than their OS. I don't think I've seen Windows crash since I installed SP1 on Windows 2000 many years ago. Maybe they are running it on Windows ME Cloud Edition?
ASA is pretty toothless anyway
Advertiser makes outlandish claim in ad.
Ad goes on-air and is seen by millions.
ASA tells advertiser that ad should not be shown again.
Advertiser makes another (different) outlandish claim in new ad
Until the ASA grows some real teeth/balls and has the ability to administer some real sanctions (fines or total ad bans for a period of time) then all an ASA adjudication is doing is showing the advertiser that the ad was doing its job (i.e. getting noticed).
Yes, I know the ASA can, supposedly, refer repeat offenders to the OFT or Ofcom, but when has that ever happened? The likes of Sky, BT and Virgin repeatedly appear in (upheld) ASA adjudications, often due to a complaint from another of this infernal triad, but, apart from having an ad that has already run its course banned, no other action is ever taken.
Does this mean that MS's cloud offerings crash as often as their OS?