NAD Warns Advertiser More than Exaggerating Advantages | Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

Final week, NAD announced a conclusion involving a sequence of AT&T Fiber advertisements that holds significant classes for providers that make comparative effectiveness promises.

Each individual of the ads depicts a funny scene in which a cable user is not able to perform a primary activity. For instance, in just one advert, a mom sits in front of her laptop computer with a birthday cake, waiting around for her son to be part of a movie conference. When the son can’t connect, the mother blows out the candle, and leaves dissatisfied. In a different advert, an govt impatiently awaits a file for a presentation, whilst the individual sending it panics as the file won’t add. The adverts condition that if you can’t carry out the duties depicted mainly because you have cable, “you require greater net,” and that AT&T offers “20x faster upload speeds than cable.”

In aid of its statements, AT&T pointed to the undisputed fact that its World wide web 1000 tier provides upload speeds that are over 20 situations more rapidly than Comcast’s Gigabit Xfinity tier and submitted numerous content talking about the strengths of fiber in excess of cable. So does that suggest AT&T could substantiate the claims? NAD didn’t imagine so. When an advertiser highlights a issue with a competing product that its very own product can clear up, it ought to guarantee that “the extent of the issue is not exaggerated, and the advertiser’s merchandise or services solves the challenge.” NAD held that AT&T fell limited on each counts.

1st, NAD decided that the advertisements did far more than just express a information that AT&T’s service was a lot quicker than cable. NAD held that “consumers will reasonably choose absent the message that cable Net is so unreliable that videoconferencing and uploading substantial files will fall short completely.” There was no proof to guidance that interpretation.

2nd, it was not obvious that speedier speeds would always fix the troubles depicted in the advertisements. For example, NAD was persuaded by the challenger’s proof that videoconferencing would not use any place shut to the optimum 35 Mbps made available by Comcast. Over a specified level, more speed might not make a meaningful change.

There is a ton likely on in this circumstance – and we may well not have the ultimate word on it for the reason that AT&T introduced its intention to attractiveness – but it is nevertheless worthy of highlighting since it illustrates a common problem that advertisers experience. You could have solid and goal evidence to demonstrate an advantage around a competitor, but you even now will need to be cautious that you really do not overstate the importance of that edge. Claims will have to be customized to your substantiation.

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