Verizon Appeals NAD Decision Regarding 5G Claims

Advertising Law

AT&T filed a National Advertising Division (NAD) challenge against claims by Verizon promoting its rollout in two television commercials of 5G service in sports venues. The express claim in both commercials was “Verizon is building the most powerful 5G experience for America.” One commercial takes place in an NFL stadium and states that Verizon’s 5G service delivers “the massive capacity of 5G with Ultra Wideband so more screaming, streaming, posting fans can experience 5G all at once.” The other commercial takes place in Madison Square Garden and states, “When fans arrive this season, they’ll need 5G with Ultra Wideband for ultra fast speeds and massive capacity. So soon, posting, sharing fans can experience 5G on their phones.” The images in both commercials show fans using their phones in the crowded sports venues.

The NAD concluded that the claim that “Verizon is building the most powerful 5G experience for America” conveyed, in context, the message that Verizon is currently delivering “the most powerful 5G experience for America,” and that the evidence in the record was insufficient to support that unqualified superiority claim. Accordingly, the NAD recommended that Verizon discontinue the claim. Verizon said that it will appeal this finding to the National Advertising Review Board (NARB). The NAD also recommended that Verizon modify the advertising to ensure that disclosures regarding 5G coverage both inside and outside the sports venues are clear and conspicuous, e.g., that Verizon’s 5G service will be available only in parts of the sports venues, and that it is available only in parts of selected cities. Verizon stated that it would comply with that portion of the decision.



pursuant to New York DR 2-101(f)

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