Our Compliance team has published guidance on the advertising of speed claims in ads for multi-core PC processors.

We have received a number of complaints about this issue recently. Many sellers would combine the speeds of two individual processors to give an overall speed which is not actually achievable in practice, thereby exaggerating the capability of the processor and potentially misleading consumers. We want to make sure that this practice is stopped in an effort to avoid consumers being misled and also to ensure a level playing field for those operating within the sector.

Two plus two doesn’t equal four!

A previous ASA ruling noted that, in a dual-core processor, the two processors within the computer worked independently of one another and although they enabled the computer to multi-task more efficiently, the overall speed of the product was not calculated on the accumulation of those two processors’ individual speeds. At that stage, it appeared to be an isolated incident. Recently, however, through our own proactive monitoring and based on incoming complaints we’ve seen the issue resurface which is what has prompted this action.

For example, a dual core PC with two 3.00GHz processors may not be advertised as 6.00GHz, as this speed is not actually achievable in practice. Essentially, two plus two does not equal four in this context.

Guidance for advertisers

CAP has been working closely with eBay on the project and today contacted the industry to ensure that their advertising sticks to the rules. CAP has produced this guidance which details the requirements for advertisers.

Affected advertisers are required to make changes immediately. Our Compliance team will closely monitor listings and websites from Monday 21 March 2016 with a view to taking enforcement action against non-compliant advertisers from this date.


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