BBB National Programs Archive
NAD Finds T-Mobile Took Necessary, Proper Action in Discontinuing ‘America’s Largest 4G Network’ Claim
New York, NY – Aug. 8, 2012 – The National Advertising Division has determined that T-Mobile took necessary and proper action in discontinuing its claim to “America’s Largest 4G Network.”
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The claim at issue was challenged before NAD by AT&T Services, Inc.
NAD has consistently held that broad, unqualified superiority claims such as “largest,” “best” and “highest” must be supported by reliable data against all or a significant portion of the market.
NAD noted in its decision that it was undisputed that T-Mobile had the largest 4G network at one point in time and has promoted itself for some time as operating “America’s Largest 4G Network.” Nevertheless, NAD said, in the wireless service industry where innovations and changes are constant, and advertisers must regularly monitor and re-examine their advertising claims to make certain that the underlying data upon which claims are based is current and that claims continue to be truthful and accurate.
In support of its claim to have “America’s Largest 4G Network,” T-Mobile provided internal calculations and argued that evidence submitted on behalf of AT&T was not reliable.
However, T-Mobile later informed NAD that for business reasons independent of NAD’s inquiry, it would permanently discontinue its use of the “America’s Largest 4G Network” claim. NAD noted that the advertiser’s evidence with respect to the size of its competitors’ networks was not shown to be current and determined that discontinuing the claim was both necessary and proper.
T-Mobile, in its advertiser’s statement, said that as the NAD acknowledges, this is a fast-paced industry and our competitors have worked to catch up as we’ve also continued to expand our 4G coverage. While covered population numbers are constantly changing and not reflective of the speeds each network delivers, T-Mobile has chosen to focus our new advertising on the fast and dependable experience and nationwide coverage our 4G network provides.”