BBB National Programs Archive

 

NAD Recommends Charter Communications Discontinue Broadcast Spot, Certain Advertising Claims Challenged by DirecTV

New York, NY – Feb. 11,  2016 – The National Advertising Division has recommended Charter Communications, Inc., discontinue one broadcast commercial and certain advertising claims made in two other broadcast spots that all convey the message that DirecTV LLC’s satellite service doesn’t work when precipitation is present.

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

In this case, DirecTV challenged advertising claims that included:

  • “Looks like it might drizzle, which means one out of four satellite subscribers could experience an outage.”
  • “One out of four satellite customers claim they have reception outages in bad weather . . . .”
  • “It’s barely raining.  And they call this reliable.”
  • “It’s time to move on from satellite. Get reliable, weatherproof TV with crystal clear picture and sound. Get Spectrum.”

Following its review of a commercial entitled “Barely Raining,” NAD determined that the evidence provided by Charter did not provide a reasonable basis for the message that it is an ordinary consumer experience for DIRECTV’s signal to be interrupted, and the television to freeze or pixelate when it is “barely raining.”

NAD found that while Charter provided a reasonable basis for the claim that its service is “weatherproof” in the context of this particular commercial, the advertiser did not provide a reasonable basis for the disparaging message reasonably conveyed – that DirecTV is highly unreliable in rainy weather because its signal is subject to “rain fade.”

NAD recommended that Charter discontinue the commercial.

NAD further recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim “Looks like it might drizzle, which means that one out of four satellite subscribers could experience an outage,” featured in its “Weatherman” commercial, as well as the claim “One out of four satellite customers claim they have reception outages in bad weather,” made in its “Frustrations” commercial.

Charter, in its advertiser’s statement, said it “accepts NAD’s recommendations with respect to the three challenged commercials and appreciates NAD’s recognition that rain fade is a unique issue for satellite television service that cable television does not experience.”

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.