An advertising self-regulatory body has told T-Mobile's home internet service it should stop making the implied claim in its TV commercial that consumers can save 50% over the price of cable broadband and other home internet competitors and T-Mobile has agreed, though says it does not agree with the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs' conclusion the claim is off base.
NAD said it had determined that the “Up to 50%” savings claim is unsupported because few consumers are paying the $105 a month that T-Mobile uses as its basis for comparison from the FCC’s benchmark rates and that the benchmark, rather than an average price but a public policy metric "set by the FCC to ensure equitable pricing for rural areas."
It said that while the ad implies that consumers can save up to 50% if they buy T-Mobile home internet versus competitors, including Charter, T-Mobile "did not demonstrate that consumers switching to T-HINT will realize such savings."
Also: NAD Says Comcast Should Drop Unsupported Ad Claims
According to NAD, T-Mobile said it would agree to comply because it was committed to the self-regulatory process, but that it disagreed with "certain" NAD findings about the FCC rate benchmark.
NAD said T-Mobile's TV ad had had provided a reasonable basis for the implied claim that its home internet (T-HINT) service was available "broadly" nationwide.
Broadband speed and service claims have been the subject of numerous NAD complaints among broadband and cable competitors, including Charter, Comcast, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T. ■
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.