Ads regulator raps PC repair biz for massaging malware infection rates
Stop running that or we'll say stop again, so help me god
An online PC repair shop was yesterday given a small ticking off by the Advertising Standards Agency – the UK's notoriously gummy marketing watchdog – for claiming that one in three PCs are blighted by malware on a daily basis.
The web shop ReimagePlus published a promo on April 21 warning prospective customers: "Don't be part of the statistics. 1 out of 3 computers is infected by malware every single day."
Complaints received by the ASA centred on whether ReimagePlus's scaremongering was misleading or could be substantiated. The biz didn't fight its case and simply ignored the watchdog's calls.
The ASA stated in its ruling:
We considered that consumers would understand from the claim that one in three computers were infected by malware on a daily basis. We considered the claim therefore implied that malware was widespread and would entice customers to use Reimage's PC repair products as a result. In the absence of adequate evidence to substantiate the claim, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
Panda Software released some research three years ago that in total, one third of the world's computers could be infected by malware, but made no mention of the daily infection rates. In 2015, Symantec research indicated one million malware threats are released into the wild each day.
Reimage, which has its headquarters in Cyprus and an R&D centre in Israel, was told the ad must not appear again in its current form, and it must have sufficient proof to back up its claims.
Presumably, if the repair shop decides to ignore the warning, it'll be warned again... and again, and again, ad infinitum.
The Register has asked Reimage for comment and will update the article if we have more luck in securing a response than the ASA. ®