Motorola Defy isn't 'life proof' enough for ASA

9 November 2011

motorla defyWhen Motorola claimed that their Defy handset was “life proof” in their ads, the Advertising Standards Authority took note. The commercials showed the handset being dropped on a nightclub floor and drenched near a pool, alongside claims that it was “dance floor proof”, “splash proof” and “life proof”.

Alas, the ASA have shot the ads down due to lack of evidence. The manufacturer pointed to the fact that they ran 300 tests on the handset, but the ASA don't think that it was enough and complaining customers agreed, especially those who had dropped their phones and found that they were rather breakable, rather than 'life proof'.

“Three complainants challenged whether the ads misleadingly exaggerated the durability of the mobile phone, because they had dropped their phones accidentally and the screens had cracked,” the ASA said in its case report.

Motorola didn't think the commercials were misleading at all and that, after their tests, they found that tests showed a 1.5% probability of the product failing due to material damage, adding that of the 1.5% failure, only 0.1% was due to broken screens.

ASA actually agreed that the Defy was more rugged than most handsets, but alas, ruled against Motorola because they couldn't provide evidence of drop tests that matched the video shown in the adverts.

“We considered viewers were not likely to interpret the ads as suggesting the product was entirely damage-resistant or that there would not sometimes be faulty handsets,” said the ASA. “We also noted, however, we had not seen any evidence that directly reflected the dropping scenario depicted in the ads. Because we had not seen evidence that dropping the Defy from the height shown in the ads would not damage the phone, we concluded that the ads misleadingly exaggerated the performance of the product."

And so, the ASA have ensured that the adverts mustn't run again in their current form.


  • Richard G.
    I tried shoving it up my arse, it wouldn't fit, too many gerbils.
  • nick w.
    I've had one. Dropped twice, smashed indestructible glass twice. Also dust under screen of the dustproof screen.
  • Alexis
    "And so, the ASA have ensured that the adverts mustn’t run again in their current form." They were on for about 2 months and finished about 4 weeks ago. What a pointless waste of money the ASA is.
  • Dick
    > What a pointless waste of money the ASA is. Don't say that, or they'll go through a rebranding exercise to improve their service, costing us millions and end up as the Authority for Advertising Standards. And do the same job.
  • Rob
    Totally agree alexis, what exactly is the point? The campaign is over now anyway. Shouldn't the ASA look at ads before they are allowed on our screens?
  • MrB
    Mines been thrown around, dropped, submerged in water, scratched with keys and not a mark on it. the screens were iffy on the 1st gen ones, but motorola sorted that out.
  • Richard
    My iPhone is 'life proof'. When I break it, I call protect my bubble and get a new one.

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