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'Indestructible' Moto Defy telly ad banned

ASA: "Your phone's tough, but not that tough"

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Motorola Mobility has been chastised by the Advertising Standards Authority for TV ads that showed the Motorola Defy getting thrown around the place without being damaged.

The ASA has told MotoMobe that it has to pull the ads, which featured on-screen claims that the phone was "dance-floor proof" and "pool-party proof" while careless but painfully hip youngsters dropped the gadget in a nightclub and then soaked it at a pool party. Sounds like a mild night out by El Reg standards.

The tagline for the ad was "water resistant, scratch resistant, dust proof - it's life proof", which three punters complained about because they had dropped their phones and the screens had, er, cracked.

MotoMobe argued that the ads weren't misleading because the screen on the phone had been "exhaustively impact tested" and because the ads involved the same phone.

"The phone was dropped in a number of takes and the ad was shot live and without enhancement or the use of computer-generated imagery," the smartphone maker said in its response.

The company added that the ads "were an honest depiction of the product", but said it didn't know the exact incidents that had caused the mobe owners' phones to break and it "couldn't cater for every eventuality".

However, the ASA was not impressed by these arguments after it discovered that there was no evidence that dropping the phone from the height shown in the ads didn't damage the device.

"We had not seen any evidence that directly reflected the dropping scenario depicted in the ads and in the evidence submitted, each of the tests resulted in damage to the phones, including their screens cracking," the authority's ruling said. ®

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