Apple to confused clients: “Thou shall not show iPad being used in iPad app ads”

Anyone who has had the pleasure of dealing with corporates, government departments or academic institutions presumably knows there are an almost limitless number of seemingly ridiculous rules that have to be obeyed. Many of these rules fly directly in the face of common sense and are generally frustrating time-sucks. But StopPress can’t recall a rule that seems quite as ridiculous as this one from Apple.

Last week, we put TVNZ’s iPad app promo up on the site (as runner up TVC of the week, no less). It was a simple, effective, explanatory wee number (although it, along with the PR release, neglected to explain that the app was developed by an Aussie firm). And this morning a polite request from TVNZ was made to take the promo off YouTube because Apple had decreed from on high that companies advertising iPad apps were not allowed to show people actually using the iPad, which is almost like saying you’re allowed to show people hopping into an Audi, but you’re not allowed to show the actual Audi.

Of course, Apple are renowned for being overly sensitive when it comes to protecting its brand. So far that’s been a fairly successful approach, in case you hadn’t noticed. And another strategy Apple has successfully employed is not responding to requests for comment from filthy journalists. So it’s hard to know the rationale behind the rule. Maybe it’s something to do with the fact that Apple doesn’t get to choose what kind of people actually get shown using its products? Or maybe it’s because those featured in the promo aren’t silhouettes?

TVNZ hopes it will only be a temporary removal, and it’s already found a number of other examples of iPad app ads that appear to break Apple’s rather draconian rules. It would seem The Herald’s app promo does, anyway.

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