Ad watchdog cries foul on T-Mobile’s MLB claims

An advertising watchdog group said T-Mobile needs to discontinue certain claims about its T-Mobile Tuesdays app and the ability to watch Major League Baseball games. #pressrelease

August 23, 2023

2 Min Read

NEW YORK – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that T-Mobile US, Inc. discontinue the claim that T-Mobile customers who download the T-Mobile Tuesdays App will be able to watch “every regular season [Major League Baseball] game live or on demand,” or modify the claim to make clear which categories of live games are available with the benefit.

In this Fast-Track SWIFT challenge, the claim at issue, which appeared in an instructional YouTube video, was challenged by AT&T Services, Inc. Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to NAD.

Although T-Mobile voluntarily modified the challenged claim during the proceeding to say that with the app, T-Mobile customers will be able to “enjoy every 2023 out-of-market, regular season game live or on demand,” a modification that made the claim accurate and not misleading, T-Mobile did not represent that it would permanently modify the claim to include “out-of-market” in any other future executions of the advertising. Therefore, NAD addressed the claim as it was originally challenged.

NAD determined that the challenged claim reasonably conveys a message that T-Mobile customers will be able to watch all regular season games live, whether they are nationally televised games, in-market games, or out-of-market games.

NAD concluded that such a message is not supported because, while all games that have been played already are available for viewing on demand, all games are not available live. NAD also noted that the “blackouts and other restrictions apply” disclosure does not cure the challenged claim as it contradicts the main message that all games are available live.

In its advertiser statement, T-Mobile stated that it “will comply with NAD’s decision” and that it “appreciates NAD’s recognition that the voluntary change it already made to [its] instructional video was sufficient to address AT&T’s alleged concerns."

Read the full press release here.

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