The launch of one of Apple’s new star products, the iPad 3, was initially met with typical excitement and praise from consumers around the planet. As a part of the rollout, the iPad 3 has been marketed as a significant improvement over other tablets in terms of display resolution, processing capacity and download speed. Regarding the latter, the iPad 3 has been advertised as able to connect to 4G Long Term Evolution networks (LTE) in various countries across the globe. But there may be a catch: the iPad 3 may be compatible with only Canadian and U.S. LTE networks. In fact, the LTE network is not available in all countries and domestic LTE networks in certain other countries use frequencies that the iPad 3 does not support.
Having discovered this discrepancy, consumers lodged numerous misleading advertising complaints in the UK, Sweden, Australia and Norway, and already, Apple has offered to refund disgruntled Australian consumers who purchased the product believing that the device was compatible with their country’s network. These worldwide incidents are an important reminder that advertisements are not readily transferrable between markets and jurisdictions; representations made in an advertisement must be both truthful and supportable in each jurisdiction in which the advertisement is presented to the public. Failure to ensure advertisements comply with local advertising law and local conditions may dampen what would otherwise be an important showcase of an exceptional product or service.