Better Business Bureau condems Apple’s Power Mac G5 ‘world’s fastest PC’ ads after Dell complains

“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,'” Ed Frauenheim reports for CNET

“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,'” Frauenheim reports.

“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,” Frauenheim reports. “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.”

Full article here.


  1. What a load!!! Advertizers make claims all the time. Best in class… cheapest… biggest… fastest. To single out Apple for making claims that others make all the time seems a little disingenuous to me. If you decided to pull every ad that stretched the truth or was otherwise questionable in its statements, there wouldn’t be any ads on TV or in the mags…

    Hey! maybe they are on to something.

  2. Can’t wait to read about BBB’s criticism of MS’s chronically infected OS that causes millions, if not billions, of hours wasted and dollars spent attempting to repair.

  3. ok, as far as i know, apple’s dual G5 IS STILL the fastest personal desktop system. the dual Xeon it went up against in benchmarks was not a PERSONAL desktop, but a workstation. also, a single P4 may beat a single G5 on integer, but no way if the G5 is a dual setup. sorry guys, the G5 still wins, especially when it’s taken as a personal desktop. no one owns a dual Xeon dell workstation for their home, it’s too expensive!

  4. Face it, the G5 may have been the fastest last year, but even the dual 2.0 has been caught up by AMD (and possibly Intel too). I’m sure that the G5s will be way ahead again when (if!!!) Apple ship the 90nm models.

    In the meantime, Apple should release an ad with “Better built than the crap from Dell” and see if the NAD lets that stand. I don’t think Dell would have grounds for complaint.

  5. G5 was never fastest – anyone who says so is ignorant or they should provide an article that says the G5 is fastest.

    Why is raw speed so important anyway? Workflow is what is important – and Mac has everyone beat.

    Getting stuff done faster is more important than a Guassian blur finishing 20 seconds faster.

    People are so stupid.

  6. Yeah Joe, the ads didn’t work, just like the BMW 5 series ad hasn’t: BMW still aren’t selling as many vehicles as Ford is selling Falcons (can’t remember what your equivalent of the Falcon is in the US…).
    I do agree though that the ads were a little lame. In a way I am thankful that most Apple ads don’t air in Australia (yet we are still one of the highest consumers of Mac outside of the US (especially in education)). We did get the iPod ads, which are pretty cool.

  7. When Apple introduced this video ( they were the FASTEST PERSONAL COMPUTER available, and NOW (?) wants to dispute that?

    Computer systems are constantly leap-frogging each other. They have been for decades. Now, Dell wants some government department to spank Apple? Oh, pleeeeeses, Mary!!

    If Dell can demo a comparable computer in terms of price and performance that can beat a G5, show it! Where’s the web link, Dell?!!!

  8. Well that campaign got kind of tired, Dell just made brownie points for itself.

    Now it’s time for Apple to unveil the Dual 2.5 Ghz G5’s and say

    “Dual 2.5 Ghz G5’s: Again the world’s fastest personal computer”

    Help cure disease for Stanford University.

  9. Well, the next time Dell puts out an advertisement, we can complain to BBB. After all, all benchmarks are misleading. If enough people complain, then BBB should consider it and Dell gets their own medicine.

  10. Babies, babies, babies. Can’t Dell find someone else to wine about? This will backfire. Marketing 101: Obviously the marketing folks at Dell don’t understand. It has nothing to do with statistics, it’s about memory recall. Never mind that all the techies will want to contest the statement. It’s not necessary. Consumers are uninformed, voters are uninformed and when exactly have you seen “truth” in advertising?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.