When Samsung's first edge-lit LED-backlit LCD displays hit stores last spring, we were careful to point out that despite the company's use of the term "LED TV" to describe the sets, they were just LCD displays with a fancier backlight. That didn't stop Samsung from using the term in its worldwide advertising, however, some of which has appeared on CNET.
In the U.K., though, the company will have to stop using "LED TV" to describe these sets. The Advertising Standards Authority, a self-governing body set up to police advertising standards, has ruled that the term violates two of the country's advertising codes for being misleading. According to the ruling, "the ads must not appear again in their current form."
(Update 9/2/2009, 2:04 p.m.: The ASA determined that the term "LED TV" can be used in the U.K., provided there is additional description to clarify that the TVs in question are using LED backlighting technology.)
Of course the ruling has no bearing outside the U.K. The Federal Trade Commission enforces truth-in-advertising standards in the United States, but has not yet taken similar action.
Among makers of LED-backlit LCD displays, currently Samsung's U.S. Web site, as well as those of LG and Toshiba, use the phrase "LED TV," while Sony's and Sharp's do not. We're hoping Vizio avoids the misleading lure of "LED TV" as well.