Charter, Comcast take aim at T-Mobile's FWA ads

Both Charter and Comcast filed complaints with an advertising arbiter about T-Mobile's fixed wireless access (FWA) advertisements. #pressrelease

April 25, 2023

2 Min Read

NEW YORK – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Charter Communications, Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that T-Mobile discontinue or modify the challenged commercial to avoid conveying the implied message that all T-Mobile Home Internet (T-HINT) users will receive fast 5G speeds.

Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited challenge process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to NAD. NAD determined that the Charter challenge was appropriate for Fast-Track SWIFT because it presented the single issue as to whether T-Mobile's claim that T-HINT provides the fastest 5G speeds available is supported.

T-HINT operates on the same wireless network that T-Mobile smartphones run on, and thus does not use a wired infrastructure to deliver internet. Customers are provided a gateway device that acts as a router and modem which converts T-Mobile's signal to WiFi and provides a WiFi signal to devices in the home.

After considering the messages reasonably conveyed by the challenged commercial, NAD determined that, given the context which offers T-HINT as an alternative to fixed wired internet, includes audio that states "don't worry 'bout speed" along with a visual of a speedometer that dings when it reaches the highest 5G level of speed, the commercial conveys a message that all T-HINT customers will receive fast 5G wireless speeds.

NAD concluded that the commercial communicates a broad unqualified performance claim that informs consumers that T-HINT provides fast 5G speeds to all of its customers. NAD found that T-Mobile's evidence does not support that claim and recommended that T-Mobile discontinue or modify the commercial to avoid conveying this implied message.

In its advertiser statement, T-Mobile stated that it "will comply with NAD's recommendations, but strongly disagrees with NAD's determination that the challenged commercial communicates an unsubstantiated message."

Read the full press release here.

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