Verizon Will Drop Certain 5G Ad Claims

Verizon Communications has agreed to discontinue claims in two TV ads about the speed and availability of its 5G wireless network.

That is according to the National Advertising Division (NAD), an advertising self-regulatory monitor, which concluded that several implied claims “potentially communicate a misleading message to consumers.”

Verizon said that it would comply with NAD’s recommendations though “it does not agree with all aspects of NAD’s decision.”

According to NAB, Verizon will no longer make claims “that its 5G service is widely available in cities across the country, and that its service is broadly and readily accessible in cities where it has been launched.“ It will also not imply that the speeds referenced in the TV commercials are typical of consumers.

AT&T had challenged the claims, including the express claim that “people from midtown Manhattan to downtown Denver can experience what your 5G can deliver.”

“While the challenged advertising communicates the accurate message that Verizon is building its 5G network,” said NAD, “the commercials simultaneously tout the current performance of the network, ultimately conveying the net impression that Verizon’s ‘ultrafast’ 5G network is widely available in cities across the country and, where it has already been launched, is broadly and readily accessible to consumers.“

NAD concluded that Verizon's disclosure that “5G Ultra Wideband only available in parts of select cities and locations. 5G-capable device req’d. Coverage may vary and is not available exactly in all locations and venues depicted,” was not clear and conspicuous and did not include sufficient qualification.

John Eggerton

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.