Advertising

Comcast to Halt Use of ‘Fastest’ Internet, In-Home WiFi Ad Claims

MSO disagrees with some NARB panel findings, but will comply with decision 2/08/2017 7:08 PM Eastern

Comcast has agreed to comply with a decision by a panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) recommending that the operator stop using certain claims in advertising that Xfinity delivers “delivers the fastest internet in America,” and the “fastest in-home WiFi.”

 

The NARB recommendation follows an initial challenge by Verizon Communication brought before the National Advertising Division (NAD) last year.

 

RELATED: NAD Challenges Comcast’s ‘Fastest Internet,’ WiFi Advertising Claims

In the decision, NARB noted that Comcast and Verizon offer consumers different tiers of service based on the maximum Internet download and upload speeds provided, and that making claims about being the “fastest…can be subject to a number of reasonable interpretations by consumers.”

 

NARB also noted that Comcast’s claims as providing “America’s fastest internet” were based on crowdsourced data from Ookla for the period January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015. The panel didn’t question the accuracy of Ookla’s data, but agreed with NAD that the data was “not a good fit for an overall claim,” as findings showed, for example, an edge for Comcast with download speeds, but not for upstream speeds.

 

RELATED: Comcast, Verizon Fios Tie as Fastest ‘Major’ U.S. ISP: Study

However, Comcast can still use Ookla data so long as it clearly communicates what the data represents, avoids any statement or implication that the data demonstrates that XFINITY provides faster internet speeds than competing ISPs, and appropriately distinguishes between download and upload speed.

 

Regarding ad claims about providing the “fastest in-home WiFi” claims, the panel noted that they were based on tests that only established faster router performance.

 

Comcast, in its advertiser’s statement, said while it disagreed with certain of panel’s findings, it agreed to comply with NARB’s decision, the organization said.

 

“Comcast will take NARB’s recommendations into account in developing future advertisements, and expects NAD and NARB will hold all advertisers to the same standards when making similar claims,” Comcast said in a statement in the NARB announcement.

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