Tom Daley advert banned for a bizarre reason
A mobile phone advert featuring diver Tom Daley has been banned for a strange reason.
The Advertising Standards Authority acted to remove the ad from phone brand HTC, which starred the diver.
The advert promoted the phone’s selfie-taking ability, showing Daley snapping photos after he jumps from a diving board, just before hitting the water.
The diver was then again pictured with the phone after leaving the water.
There’s just one problem… the phone isn’t waterproof enough to be taken the pool.
The HTC U11 phone depicted in the ad is only rated as water-resistant, meaning it can be briefly submerged up to a depth of 1 meter.
But even HTC’s own instruction manual warns that it should not intentionally be submerged in water and cautions to avoid pressing the phone’s buttons immediately after submersion.
The HTC website specifies: “This phone is water resistant if it is briefly submerged by accident in fresh water less than 1 meter deep… do not expose the phone to sea water, swimming pools, spas, hot water, and hot springs.”
The phone maker admitted that “there were too many variations of water temperature and chemical composition” to say the phone could be used in swimming pools.
But the brand insisted the ad did not suggest Daley brought the phone underwater with him – suggesting he “held the phone above his head” after hitting the surface.
The ASA said: “While we acknowledged that a professional Olympic athlete such as Tom Daley would be able to dive from a 10-metre high diving board and keep within the 1m distance required, we considered it unlikely that a consumer attempting something similar would be able to avoid being submerged to a depth which did not exceed, even briefly, that measurement.
“Because consumers were likely to understand that the product could deliberately be submerged in a swimming pool and that no precautions were required to be taken after it had been immersed to preserve the product’s performance, and because that was not the case, we concluded that the ad exaggerated the capability of the product and was misleading.”
After the ASA ruled that the ad was misleading, HTC has now since pulled it offline.
An HTC spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the ASA ruling, but have removed the video from our sites.
“The video was part of an extreme selfies series designed to showcase the squeezable function of the new HTC U11, which allows you to take one-handed selfies with ease, even in more extreme situations such as diving.
“The video contained confirmation that HTC U11 has an IP67 rating with direction to HTC.com where that rating is explained in detail, but we apologise if anyone felt misled as to the handset’s water resistant capabilities.”
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Daley and his American husband Dustin Lance Black recently confirmed which country they plan to raise their children in, ahead of the birth of their first son.
The pair have been pilloried in the UK’s right-wing press after announcing plans to have a baby via surrogate.
Black recently said that the negative reaction within the UK was fuelled by “misconceptions” – and revealed that after months of silence, he and his husband have decided to be very public about their parenthood in order to challenge people’s opinions.
He said: “We have made a decision to move forward on this with full transparency, and if at all possible shed some light on what surrogacy really is, what gay parenting really is. If it makes it easier for others going forward, we will do that.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Black was challenged by one caller who said that “two blokes” shouldn’t bring up a child – and he had a great response.