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theEweekly Wrap

Google goings-on – Apple v Samsung latest – Virgin ads banned

Google's busy week

It's been a hectic few days for Google, starting with their link warnings that baffled webmasters worldwide. Many sites had received an email about 'unnatural' links earlier in the year and seen a drop in rankings immediately after the Penguin update was brought in, so they were slightly panicked by the arrival of an almost identical message earlier in July.

However, Google's Matt Cutts has sought to calm the furore, stating that this new round of correspondence was merely a 'link advisory' rather than a 'link warning' and not something to worry about. Despite this reassurance, many are likely to continue being concerned, particularly as Google also announced an update to their Panda algorithm, which they claim will only visibly affect less than one per cent of results.

The company is also reported to be close to resolving its ongoing antitrust issue with the European Commission, with a settlement deal rumoured to be close.

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Latest Apple v Samsung mediation fails

With Apple and Samsung's patent dispute set to go to trial on July 30 in California, the pair failed to find a resolution after another attempt at mediation talks broke down.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook met with Samsung vice chairman Choi Gee-Sung and mobile chief Shin Jyong-Kyun to try and settle the argument, but the conversation yielded little success and a truce now looks unlikely to be called before the trial begins.

This most recent case focuses on what Samsung calls standard essential patents, which they want to see licensed to competitors in exchange for that technology being seen as an industry standard.

The pair have had several legal battles of late, including a recent win for the South Korean company in the UK, where a judge ordered Apple to publish ads saying Samsung did not copy its patents.

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Bolt's boastful Branson banned

A series of Virginia Media adverts have been banned after they were found to have made false claims about the company's ability to stop buffering with its superfast broadband service.

The ads, featuring Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt disguised as Richard Branson, show the star telling customers they can say "bye-bye to buffering". This prompted rival BT to complain to the Advertising Standards Authority. The watchdog ruled that the comment could be seen as misleading, as there was no way Virgin could guarantee a total absence of buffering for users.

In response to the ruling, a Virgin Media spokeswoman said: "When one of the world's leading athletes dresses up as a world famous entrepreneur, complete with stuck-on blond beard and space helmet, and says he wants everyone to 'wave bye-bye' to buffering - this should not be taken as an absolute claim that no Virgin Media customer will ever experience buffering ever again."

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Written by James Riches

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