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In two expedited SWIFT cases, the National Advertising Division recommends that advertiser claims be halted in one, disclosures amended in the other

NEW YORK, June 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB’s National Programs has closed two Fast-Track SWIFT cases in May 2022. In such cases:

  • AT&T Services, Inc. challenged Charter Communications, Inc.’s (Spectrum) assertion that AT&T’s Internet service, without distinguishing between cable/copper or fiber services, provides unreliable and glitchy Internet connectivity, to a degree noticeable to the consumer for the activities described in the advertisement.
  • T-Mobile Puerto Rico, LLC has challenged disclosures made by Liberty Mobile Puerto Rico Inc. in connection with certain wireless network performance claims.

Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited NAD dispute process designed for single-issue advertising cases.

AT&T vs. Spectrum

AT&T disputed a claim made by Spectrum in a television commercial titled “The Choice for Gamers Ad”. The advertisement describes, in writing, voice-over and visually, that Spectrum is the “winner” in providing reliable, trouble-free internet service over “internet phone companies”, without elaboration, limitation or qualification.

Spectrum objected to NAD’s review of AT&T’s challenge based on its assertions that the challenged AT&T’s claim is not expressly set forth in the advertisement and evidence of the quality of service offered by AT&T across its entire footprint is complex. Charter also claimed that he had permanently halted the challenged advertisement before learning of AT&T’s challenge and therefore declined to submit evidence to support the challenged claim. The NAD determined that it had jurisdiction over the challenge because Charter’s advertisement had continued to run up to the date of the complaint and that the challenge was proper for Fast Track SWIFT because it presented a single express claim that did not does not require the examination of complex evidence.

Since Spectrum provided no evidence to support its claim of superior performance, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim that AT&T’s Internet service, without distinguishing between cable/copper or fiber services, provides unreliable and glitchy Internet connectivity to a consumer-noticeable degree for business. depicted in advertising.

In its announcer statement, Spectrum said it “is disappointed with NAD’s decision to accept this challenge for expedited review” for several reasons, but noted that it “remains a strong supporter of the self-regulation and will consider NAD’s recommendations in formulating future advertising.”

T-Mobile Puerto Rico vs. Liberty Mobile Puerto Rico

T-Mobile Puerto Rico challenged Liberty Mobile Puerto Rico’s “hardware connection” disclosures as insufficient as part of claims that Liberty’s wireless service has the “best network” and “best coverage” on the basis of Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) testing.

NAD noted that GWS has been testing as a paid non-exclusive service for Liberty. While there is nothing unusual about the relationship between GWS and Liberty, NAD has determined that consumers should be made aware of this relationship through clear and visible disclosure, as this may affect the credibility and weight that consumers agree to the claim if they know that Liberty paid GWS for the study. Therefore, NAD recommended that Liberty clearly and prominently disclose that Liberty paid GWS for the study that is the source of its wireless network performance claims.

NAD noted that during the challenge, Liberty voluntarily permanently discontinued its description of GWS testing to support its network performance claims as an “independent study”. Liberty’s abandonment of this claim will be treated by NAD for compliance purposes as if NAD were recommending its abandonment. In addition, Liberty has started to use the language “Study conducted by GWS paid for by Liberty”, which is clear and easy to understand, effectively describing the source of complaints.

NAD reviewed the challenged advertisement in its various forms to assess the materiality and sufficiency of Liberty’s disclosures. Based on its review, NAD recommended that the disclosure be placed more prominently, at or near the very beginning of the text so that consumers do not read beyond the essential language. NAD also recommended that Liberty use a mechanism to draw consumers’ attention to the disclosure and ensure that the font size of the disclosure is readable in all versions of the ad.

NAD determined that the challenged advertisement was appropriate for Fast-Track SWIFT because the challenge only asked whether the advertiser’s disclosures in connection with its wireless performance claims adequately disclosed the connection between GWS and Liberty. . NAD also determined that although the advertisements in question were in Spanish, they did not have significant or unique language issues that would preclude NAD’s analysis, as NAD has analyzed the claims made in the Spanish advertisement on several other occasions.

In its advertiser statement, Liberty said it “agrees to abide by NAD’s recommendations” and that it “appreciates NAD’s guidance regarding the types of disclosures it should make when making disclosure statements.” network performance based on third-party testing paid for by company.”

Advertisers are encouraged to learn more about the NAD Fast-Track SWIFT dispute process and how to file a dispute. All national BBB program case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of the NAD, NARB and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

About National BBB Programs: National BBB programs are where businesses turn to build consumer confidence and consumers are heard. The nonprofit organization creates a fairer level playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party liability and dispute resolution programs. Assuming its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs now oversees more than a dozen national industry self-regulatory programs and continues to evolve its work and increase its impact by providing business advice and promoting best practices in areas such as advertising, marketing to children and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulatory and dispute resolution services guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the United States. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising and truth. accuracy, providing significant consumer protection and leveling the playing field for businesses.

SOURCE BBB National Programs