The advert, originally published in mid-2017, shows British Olympic diving medalist Tom Daley using the HTC U11 to take selfies of himself mid-dive, using the phone’s squeezable edges. The advert shows Daley taking selfies of multiple dives, and implies that the athlete consistently dunks the phone in the diving pool. While the HTC U11 is water-resistant, that resistance is for fresh water, and HTC admit that the varied temperatures and chemical compositions of chlorinated pool water made it impossible to guarantee the U11 would not be harmed in real-life use.
Furthermore, the phone is only IP67 rated and water-resistant of depths up to 1 meter, making this stunt even harder to pull off for a layman. HTC attempt to address this at the end of the advert, pointing out that Daley is a professional and his stunts shouldn’t be replicated, and that he held the phone above his head to avoid immersion of the phone below a meter. The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) did not consider this to be clear enough, and upheld the complaint, ordering the advert be removed from the company’s social media accounts.
In a direct statement, the ASA said: “While we acknowledged that a professional Olympic athlete such as Tom Daley would be able to dive from a 10-metre high diving board and keep within the one-metre distance required, we considered it unlikely that a consumer attempting something similar would be able to avoid being submerged to a depth which did not exceed, even briefly, that measurement. […] Because consumers were likely to understand that the product could deliberately be submerged in a swimming pool and that no precautions were required to be taken after it had been immersed to preserve the product’s performance, and because that was not the case, we concluded that the ad exaggerated the capability of the product and was misleading.”