T-Mobile stops airing ads that claim it’s faster than Verizon

T-Mobile stops airing ads that claim it’s faster than Verizon

Why it matters to you

Companies often make bold claims in advertisements, but T-Mobile may have taken things just a little too far.

False advertising doesn’t go unnoticed, and apparently it doesn’t go unpunished, either. T-Mobile has been called out for some questionable messaging around being the fastest network because, news flash, it’s not. That honor goes to Verizon. As such, the National Advertising Division (NAD), an arm of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC), an advertising industry trade association, “recommended that T-Mobile discontinue certain advertising claims” around the Uncarrier’s 4G LTE network being faster than that of Verizon’s.

T-Mobile as a result has agreed to stop running these ads, though it’s certainly not backing down from its overall theme of superiority over Big Red. NAD noted that T-Mobile could “support a modified claim about the number of people covered by its network,” so we can certainly expect to see more creative around that nugget of information.

In general, however, NAD noted in its announcement that advertisers ought to “regularly monitor and reexamine their advertising claims to make certain that the underlying data upon which they are based is current so that their advertising claims are truthful, and recognizes that changes to a network or network service conditions will impact whether a service provider’s comparative claims are supported.”

The advertising watchdog often hands down decisions that can be used in lieu of a courtroom drama — after all, Verizon decided to take its case to NAD rather than suing its competitor over erroneous claims. T-Mobile previously used crowdsourced data from Ookla and Open Signal to claim that it had the “Fastest 4G LTE network.” However, Verizon pointed out that the folks who use these apps are a “subset of all smartphone users,” and that the data was likely skewed.

T-Mobile has since discontinued commercials touting its “fastest” claim, which also called Verizon’s network “older,” “slower,” and more limiting. That said, NAD points out that its recommendations do not constitute a “finding of wrongdoing,” and further noted that “an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety.”

All the same, Verizon can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that T-Mobile is no longer at its throat regarding network speed and newness. But alas, don’t expect the comparison ads between these two (and all other networks) to end.

Published at Tue, 03 Oct 2017 15:04:32 +0000

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