Motorola Atrix’s “Most Powerful” Claims Shot Down In U.K.

There’s a fine line between a bold advertising campaign and playing fast and loose with the truth, and it looks like Motorola may have just tip-toed over it. According to the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority, Motorola has been banned from calling their Atrix handset “the most powerful smartphone in the world” in marketing and promotional materials.

While the Atrix launched domestically back in February, it made its U.K. debut as an Orange exclusive this past May. Unfortunately, that launch window put it right up against the release of the Samsung Galaxy S II, which packs a a 1.2 Ghz processor into its svelte frame. ASA officials took issue with the fact that the Atrix, in spite of the lofty claims surrounding it, actually has a slower processor than the Samsung Galaxy S II.

Motorola and their ad agency were apparently working with a different definition of the word “powerful”: Motorola’s angle called into the play the performance and flexibility of the Atrix when used with its lapdock.

The heart of the matter comes down to what exactly people define as “power” in a smartphone. The ASA’s official ruling states that they “considered most viewers would understand the claim ‘the world’s most powerful smartphone’, in context to a smartphone, to mean that the product had, among other features, a faster processor than any other smartphone.”

It’s a fair assumption for the ASA to make: Motorola’s definition deals more with the versatility of their handset, and the phone’s hardware is a limiting factor on how well the rest of the experience works. In common mobile parlance, the processor is where all the horsepower is, and that’s certainly what my mind jumps to first. Motorola has a bit of repositioning to do if they want to keeping pushing the Atrix in the U.K., but in light of recent developments, it may not rank too high on their list of priorities.