Dell blur the lines of what is allowed in advertising

25 November 2011

It looks as though Dell have been caught out being a little bit naughty when it comes to informing customers about the power of the graphics cards within their Optiplex range of PCs.

Here’s a graphic that appeared on their site in the place where buyers get to customise their PCs before finalising their order. Dell helpfully showed what the Windows desktop would look like with a ‘standard’ graphics card and a ‘high-end’ graphics card.

dell-image-2

Keen-eyed observers will note that they have demonstrated this with two identical pictures, with the ‘standard’ one possibly doctored with a bit of Photoshop work. Oh dear.

The geniuses at PC Pro were quickly on the case, noting that “Any modern discrete graphics card, whether a mid-range model or a more powerful part, is more than capable of displaying a Windows desktop. There’s no chance that by choosing two of the different graphics options available with the Optiplex 790 – let’s say the £86 inc VAT AMD Radeon HD 6350 and the £256 inc VAT dual Radeon HD 6450 option – a desktop will look any different on the cheaper card.”

As they pointed out, novice buyers could be sorely tempted to fork out for a higher-spec graphics card that they probably wouldn’t need. PC Pro have duly lodge a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority and urged readers to do the same.

Meanwhile, Dell were quick to react and do the right thing, issuing a statement to PC Pro that read:

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Dell endeavours to help customers to make the best decisions regarding their purchases. It was never our intention to mislead customers, and we apologise for any confusion caused. We have now removed the image from our Global sites. Dell remains committed to delivering the best possible experience to all our customers.”

6 comments

  • Me
    Cunts!! Spot on ^
  • The B.
    To be fair it's Dell and you're just asking for trouble buying from them.
  • Tom
    If you want to go from the left image to the right one, all you have to do is adjust the brightness and contrast on your monitor. Squeezy!
  • Terry
    There's no point in everyone going to the ASA. The ASA will investigate and rule on the basis of 1 single complaint.
  • james D.
    Oh no, now dell may not be allowed to use the image again in it's current form!
  • ASA
    @dewitt You bastard. That's our job. Now Dell will be expecting it. We'll just have to impose our other sanction. Oh. Bollocks.

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