The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has upheld an appeal from Sony Mobile South Africa on a ruling that said the electronics maker may no longer refer to the Xperia Z1 as “waterproof” in South Africa.
Its original ruling was made after a consumer complaint alleged that their Xperia Z1 stopped working after being used in water, even though all the ports on the device were properly sealed.
According to the ASA, Sony did not submit any evidence that the phone was in fact waterproof, and so it ruled in favour of the consumer.
As part of the appeal, Sony submitted a report issued by Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET) which confirmed that the Xperia Z1 met the IP55 and IP58 standards of protection against water and dust ingress.
The original complainant did not respond to Sony’s appeal.
“It is difficult to ascertain why [Sony Mobile] failed to submit the JET report to the directorate, especially in the light of the directorate making several requests for a response,” the ASA said in its ruling.
Sony Mobile said that the Ingress Protection Code (IPC) was the internationally recognised standard for specifying the degree to which electronic devices could withstand the ingress of dust and water.
The IPC was developed by the International Electrical Commission, of which South Africa is a member through the South African Bureau of Standards, Sony said.
“Sony Mobile was confident in the claims made in our advertisements, and ensured that related information is fully visible in our marketing materials in South Africa,” said Mark Fenzel, country manager for Sony Mobile Communications in South Africa.
“The value of the waterproof capabilities of the Xperia Z series of smartphones and tablets is really appreciated by our customers, and we are pleased to be able to continue to market this differentiation,” Fenzel said.