New York, NY – August 9, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising body of BBB National Programs, has referred advertising claims made by Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for review after the company declined to comply with NARB’s recommendations to modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for Xfinity Mobile.
Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7160), Comcast appealed NAD’s recommendations to modify or discontinue certain challenged advertising claims. The advertising at issue had been challenged by AT&T Services, Inc.
Comcast (under the Xfinity Mobile brand) uses Verizon Wireless’ network to provide cellular service to its mobile customers. Xfinity Mobile customers use voice and data services on their mobile devices through (i) their Xfinity home internet, (ii) millions of public Xfinity WiFi hotspots if the customer is within range, or (iii) the Verizon Wireless cellular network.
The NARB panel affirmed NAD’s decision in its entirety and recommended that Comcast:
- Modify its advertising to clearly and conspicuously disclose that its “fastest mobile service” claim is based on combined WiFi and cellular speeds and that the claim is true only within its WiFi footprint or when connected to WiFi;
- Discontinue its “most reliable,” “highest ranked,” and “best network” claims for Xfinity Mobile; and
- Clearly and conspicuously disclose in its advertising that to be eligible to subscribe to Xfinity Mobile, Xfinity Internet is required.
Finally, the NARB panel concluded that use of a hyperlink on the Xfinity Mobile website to make any of the recommended disclosures would not satisfy the conspicuous standard.
Comcast stated that it “disagrees with NARB’s decision and maintains that each of its claims is truthful and non-misleading.” Further, Comcast stated that “NARB disregarded relevant information and evidence concerning the network reliability Xfinity Mobile customers receive” and “because NARB’s decision would prohibit Comcast from truthfully promoting the network that Xfinity Mobile customers receive, Comcast cannot comply with NARB’s recommendation to discontinue these claims.”
Given Comcast’s decision not to comply with the NARB panel’s recommendations, NARB is referring the advertising to the FTC for possible enforcement action.
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Review Board (NARB): The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 85 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters.