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Nokia apologizes for faking Lumia 920 ad

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Nokia has issued an apology over charges that it sexed up the qualities of its new Lumia 920 handsets in an ad intended to show off its new image stabilization system, dubbed "PureView".

The advert shows a typecast tall, thin Nordic woman riding a bicycle and funfair ride before dancing in the street, all the while being energetically filmed by her geeky-looking boyfriend. A split screen is added to show the miraculous difference Nokia's PureView makes, ending with the tagline "This is Lumia".

Except it wasn't. Within hours of the video going, online bloggers were calling foul. The images on the bicycle are clearly not being shot by a hipster with a bum-fluff beard, since a full camera crew in a white truck is clearly visible in the reflection of a window at around 0:27 seconds into the ad – which now has the discrete notification "Simulation of OIS technology" on YouTube.

"In an effort to demonstrate the benefits of optical image stabilization (which eliminates blurry images and improves pictures shot in low light conditions), we produced a video that simulates what we will be able to deliver with OIS," said Nokia in a blog post.

"Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but we should have posted a disclaimer stating this was a representation of OIS only. This was not shot with a Lumia 920. At least, not yet. We apologize for the confusion we created."

"Not yet" is a pretty open-ended statement, so don't expect image quality like that shown in the advert when the 920 comes out some time in Q4. Nokia has released a video of what the actual 920's optical image stabilization will do, and it's somewhat less impressive, although it's still pretty good:

Nokia is not alone in gilding the lily in advertising; the whole mobile sphere is rife with it. Apple has been slapped down repeatedly for making extravagant claims about the speeds and capabilities of the iPhone, and the mobile sector in general keeps the watchdogs at the Advertising Standards Authority very busy.

Everyone expects a little exaggeration in advertising. Car ads seldom show any other traffic, beauty products never feature pimples, and everyone with two brain cells to rub together realizes that covering yourself with body spray won't make the ladies swoon so much as gag.

But if you're going a demonstration of an actual feature, it's customary to actually use the technology itself. ®

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