Time Warner Challenges Dish Ads

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The Council of Better Business Bureaus sent a complaint about ads for EchoStar Communications’ Dish Network to the Federal Trade Commission, officials said Friday.

The National Advertising Division of the council, in a press release, charged that EchoStar has refused to assist in a probe of the complaint, lodged by Time Warner Cable, relating to advertising for the satellite provider.

Time Warner is challenging pricing claims and offers of “free” service contained in Dish advertising.

“Despite repeated attempts to contact EchoStar, the company did not respond to the NAD’s request to participate in this challenge,” the ad division said in a prepared statement.

EchoStar officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

Last week, the NAD suggested that The Elephant Group, which markets Dish services, “significantly modify its marketing materials to provide consumers with clear and consistent information about pricing and services.”

As part of its review, the NAD “recommended that Elephant Group make clear what the free [Dish] services are, explain that those services are part of an introductory offer, include the time period during which the services are free and include the monthly cost consumers will pay after the introductory period.”

The NAD also recommended that Dish discontinue its claim of “over 15 HDTV channels” in future ads.

The Elephant Group, in its statement, took issue with some of the NAD’s determinations but said it would “seek to implement NAD’s recommendations to the best of its ability.”

But since the NAD hasn’t gotten any response from EchoStar in terms of looking into Time Warner’s complaint, it has sent the matter to the FTC.

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