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Apple told to halt 'world's fastest' claims for G5

Acting on a tip from Dell, the Better Business Bureau tells Apple to stop its comparative performance claims regarding the Power Mac G5 desktop.

The Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Apple Computer discontinue comparative performance claims regarding its Power Mac G5 desktop.

Acting on a tip from Apple rival Dell, the council's National Advertising Division (NAD) "determined that the evidence provided by Apple did not provide a reasonable basis for its broad unqualified claims that its Power Mac G5 is 'the world's fastest, most powerful personal computer' and that it 'edged out the competition on integer.'"

In a statement Thursday, NAD also said it took issue with Apple's claim regarding the computer's 64-bit processor. The "advertiser's claim, 'the world's first 64-bit processor for personal computers,' could reasonably be interpreted to apply to workstations, in the context in which it was presented." This claim was unsupported by evidence, according to NAD. The organization said that although the advertisement had run its course, it recommended that Apple "modify this claim to effectively limit it to personal computers."

According to NAD, Apple said in a statement that its ad campaign has already run its course and that it "will be mindful of NAD's views in its future advertising." The company was not immediately available for further comment on the issue.

Apple unveiled the Power Mac G5 last June.

A Dell representative said in an e-mail: We "notified NAD because we felt there were some inaccuracies in Apple's advertisement and wanted to act on behalf of consumers in the marketplace who deserve accurate information on which to base their purchase decisions...Essentially, we felt that clarity in the marketplace benefits consumers, and NAD agreed."

Apple's G5 advertising had previously been criticized. In November, British TV regulators banned an Apple ad for the machine, saying its claim to the title "world's fastest personal computer" is not fully supported.

That decision followed doubts by analysts and others about the benchmark tests Apple used to justify the claims.