AMD’s “Enhanced Virus Protection” Radio Ads Banned in The Netherlands

AMD Asked to Reconsider Marketing Campaign

by Anton Shilov
12/27/2004 | 09:51 AM

The organization that regulates advertising in the Netherlands recently asked chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices to stop at least some of its radio ads aimed to promote AMD’s Enhanced Virus Protection (EVP) capabilities. The association said one or all of the EVP radio clips were misleading, as the technology did not substitute the real antivirus software.

 

AMD’s Enhanced Virus Protection security technology in combination with Microsoft’s Data Execution Prevention in the Windows XP SP2 is designed to help render some viruses, specifically buffer overrun exploits, inoperable and prevent them from replicating and spreading to other systems. The core of AMD’s Enhanced Virus Protection is the so-called NX bit in the page-translation tables that specifies whether instructions can be executed from the page. The EVP is enabled on all AMD64 – including AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Opteron processors – and on certain AMD Sempron chips. The capability is also available on Intel’s Itanium, Itanium 2 and on some Intel Pentium 4 microprocessors.

Reclame Code Commissie of the Netherlands, an organization that regulates advertising in the country, recently said some or all AMD EVP radio ads were “too absolute and as a result misleading”, according to Tweakers.net web-site. The regulators pointed out the fact that the technology needed Service Pack 2 to be installed on a PC running Microsoft Windows XP operating system and was able to protect only against a number of malicious programs.

AMD’s web-site states that the EVP was designed to prevent the spread of certain viruses, like MSBlaster and Slammer. The web-site also notes that the Windows XP SP2 is compulsory for EVP operation. Furthermore, the web-site claims that Enhanced Virus Protection will by default only protect the user’s Windows operating system and users must, at installation of Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 or when they first purchase their system, choose to enable the protection of their applications and associated files from memory buffer overrun attacks. AMD and Microsoft strongly recommend that users use third party anti-virus software as part of their security strategy, a document located at amd.com advices.

The commission did not make any claims against AMD’s ads for the Internet, television, print-magazines or any other type of media.

The reaction of Sunnyvale, California-based Advanced Micro Devices is unclear.

Late in 2003 the UK ad regulators said Apple’s TV clips claiming the PowerMac G5 workstations were the most powerful on the planet were misleading and ruled the company to stop transmitting them.