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Advertising arbiter backs AT&T's 'best' claims

NEW YORK – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that AT&T Services, Inc. provided claims made in two blog posts on AT&T's website. The AT&T blog post claims include:

  • The "best possible Wi-Fi experience";
  • The "best possible in-home connections"; and
  • The "best possible home internet experience."

The claims at issue were challenged by Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, provider of competing home internet services.

Comcast argued that the "best possible" claims are unsupported superiority claims.

In response to Comcast's challenge, NAD reviewed the evidence submitted by AT&T, including a review of each claim in the context it was presented, to determine whether the claims convey a comparative superiority message or a self-referential message touting the improvements AT&T had rolled out for its customers.

NAD determined that AT&T's July 15, 2019 blog post did not convey a comparative superiority message. NAD noted that the "best possible" statement in the context of the post clearly communicates that AT&T has optimized its own process to provide the "best possible Wi-Fi experience" AT&T can offer to its own customers. Similarly, the "best possible in-home connections" claim conveys a message about how AT&T optimizes installation of Wi-Fi equipment to provide its "best possible in-home connections," not the best possible in-home connections compared to those provided by competing services.

NAD also determined in the context of AT&T's January 22, 2018 blog post, the phrase "best possible home internet experience" conveys the message that AT&T is optimizing the home internet experience for its own customers with its app and Wi-Fi extenders. NAD noted that the post discusses two new features of AT&T's home internet that improve its service relative to its prior service. Given the context of a post directed at AT&T's service improvements, NAD did not think that a reasonable consumer reading this post would take away the message that AT&T claimed the best home internet experience compared to all other internet service providers.

NAD found that the advertiser had a reasonable basis for the self-referential messages conveyed by the two blog posts.

In its advertiser's statement, AT&T expressed that it was pleased with NAD's findings and stated that "we strongly support the self-regulatory process, and we appreciate NAD's careful reasoning in this matter."

BBB National Programs

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