BBB National Programs Archive

Following AT&T Challenge, T-Mobile Says Disputed Claim Has Been Discontinued, NAD Declines to Review Claim on its Merits

New York, NY – Oct. 23, 2018 – Following a challenge by AT&T Services Inc., T-Mobile USA, Inc., said a television commercial that contained the claim “Only T-Mobile lets you watch your favorite movies and shows in more places without paying more,” has completed its run and the claim has been discontinued. NAD did not review the claim on its merits.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

AT&T had argued in its challenge that the commercial conveyed a claim of exclusivity regarding the ability of mobile customers to stream entertainment at no additional charge. Further, AT&T argued that the claim is not limited to content streamed through Netflix, but rather broadens the exclusive benefit to all “your favorite movies and shows.”

T-Mobile argued that AT&T’s challenge focused on a single line in the commercial, rather than the context of the entire commercial and contended that the commercial truthfully informed consumers that they could get a free subscription to Netflix for their family if they signed up for a T-Mobile ONE Unlimited Family Plan.

During the course of the proceeding, T-Mobile informed NAD that it had made the decision prior to AT&T’s challenge to discontinue the claim. The claim was still airing when the challenge was filed, however, and NAD retained jurisdiction.

NAD, relying on T-Mobile’s representation that the claim has been permanently discontinued, NAD did not review the claim on its merits. The voluntarily discontinued claim will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended its discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

T-Mobile, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “made an independent decision to permanently discontinue the challenged claim before AT&T filed its challenge and appreciates NAD’s decision to close this matter without reviewing the claim on the merits.”

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.