* For illustration purposes only

  Inky 12:29 09 Mar 2004

I'm currently in the market for a decent video editing PC for around £1,000 and am astounded at the number of adverts in magazines and on web sites that show a computer set up "for illustration purposes only".

In todays digital age, is it asking too much to see a picture of the goods I will be buying?

I have even seen one advert with a monitor pictured, then in small type a note stating "monitor not included"! Is this all a deliberate policy to mislead?

  Sir Radfordin 13:25 09 Mar 2004

Someone else posted a similar problem with the way that PC World display and seel computer bundles. One reason for the "illustration purposes only" disclaimer is that artwork can take a long time to prepare and components can change at short notice. Monitors will just be supplied direct from the manufacturer and so the selling company may run into problems with slight changes in casing that occur during the advertising of a product.

It is no doubt a disclaimer to try and protect the seller from some of the claims that consumers have should a product not look identical to the one seen in a photo.

  Inky 14:02 09 Mar 2004

You're probably right, although the time to create "artwork" is doubtful. How long does it take to take a digital pic and add to a website?

Having said that, I can see the point of late component changes causing problems. I'll just have to hope that the illustrations are somewhere near right!

  Sir Radfordin 14:05 09 Mar 2004

To get artwork ready for publication isn't just a case of taking a photo and putting it on a website for many companies. Many computer suppliers no doubt outsource much of their advertising as they don't have the need to do it in-house.

In most cases what you see will be very similar, if not identical, to what you get. Companies will however still choose to cover themselves in this way.

  Stuartli 16:03 10 Mar 2004

Most monitors look pretty similar....:-)

  Inky 12:40 11 Mar 2004

Again, I take your point, but to illustrate mine take a look at the Mesh system on p188 of the April issue of PCA. The text states 17in flat panel which I take to mean TFT, but the picture is a CRT. In an advert, which one do you rely on?

Combo DVD/CD drives are often pictured as separate as well!

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