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Apple TV ad banned in U.K.

British TV regulators say Apple Computer's claim that the Power Mac G5 is the "world's fastest personal computer" is not fully supported.

British TV regulators banned an ad for Apple Computer's Power Mac G5, saying its claim to the title "world's fastest personal computer" is not fully supported.

While reviewers initially gave the ad the OK, the Independent Television Commission (ITC) this week decided to take action after receiving eight complaints from viewers. The agency concluded that "there was insufficient evidence to support the claim 'world's fastest, most powerful personal computer.'"

In addition, the commission said that "it shared one viewer's doubt that the claim could be substantiated at all because, as evidence for and against the claim showed, computers are constantly being updated and have many different applications and benchmarks."

The ITC decision means the ad cannot air in its current form, according to a commission representative.

An Apple representative declined to comment on the move.

The company now has a slightly different page for the PowerMac G5 on its U.K. site than it does in the United States. The Apple U.K. page does not have a clip of the TV ad in question and includes an additional footnote qualifying Apple's claim that the G5 is the fastest personal computer.

The performance claims for the G5 have already been a point of contention, as benchmarks often are, with some defending and others criticizing Apple's methods.

Apple cites SPEC (Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation) benchmark results that show the G5 outperforming a 3GHz Pentium 4-based Dell Dimension 8300 and 3.06GHz Dual Xeon-based Dell Precision 650. The tests were commissioned by Apple but performed by Veritest, an independent testing firm.

Veritest used the same GCC compiler for both machines, with the Dell boxes running the Linux operating system, a move it says allows for the best comparison of hardware performance. Critics charged that higher benchmarks can be achieved using the Windows OS and an Intel-optimized compiler, rather than GCC.