The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has launched a sector-compliance project in the computing sector on the advertising of speed claims in ads for multi-core PC processors.

Working with eBay, they are communicating and enforcing an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling which prohibits advertisers from combining the speeds of two or more individual PC processors to give an overall speed.

The 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 proactive monitoring and based on incoming complaints the ASA has 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.

This will lead to more accurate advertising of such products and will ensure that ads of this type are not misleading to the consumer, allowing them to make more informed decisions. It also aims to ensure a level playing field for those operating within the sector.

Advertisers should ensure their ads do not combine the speeds of two or more individual processors to give an overall speed. 

Affected advertisers are expected to take immediate action to ensure their listings, websites and other ads are compliant. CAP will closely monitor listings in this sector from 21 March 2016 with a view to taking enforcement action against non-compliant advertisers from this date.

If you received the letter and are unsure about the requirements, please contact CAP Compliance team.