NAD Recommends Modification of Disclosures Used in Connection with Comcast Xfinity Mobile vs. Verizon 5G Comparative Savings Claims

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – September 15, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that comparative savings claims made by Comcast Cable Communications, LLC about its Xfinity Mobile 5G service plan would not be misleading when compared with the cheapest two Ultra Wideband 5G plans by Verizon Communications, Inc., provided that disclosures were adequate. Therefore, NAD recommended that Comcast modify the advertising to clearly and conspicuously disclose the material differences between the services, and to avoid conveying the message that consumers can obtain massive savings by switching to Xfinity Internet.

In this case, Verizon challenged claims made by Comcast’s comparison of different 5G plans – its single 5G plan vs. two of Verizon’s mid-tier plans and NAD assessed whether such claims are misleading. NAD has long held that although an advertiser may choose the object of comparison when making price comparisons, it is well-established that such apples-to-oranges comparisons must: 

  • Disclose the basis of comparison, 
  • Avoid implying that a competitor does not have a more similar product or service, and
  • Disclose any material differences between the compared products. 

 

The express and implied claims at issue, which appeared in Comcast’s “Comparisons” television commercial, included:

Express Claims

  • Xfinity Mobile is at most “half the price of Verizon – so you have more money for more stuff.”
  • Consumers can “switch to Xfinity Mobile for half the price of Verizon.”
  • Xfinity Mobile customers can get “One line of unlimited data for half the price of Verizon.”

 

Implied Claim

  • Consumers will reap massive savings by switching from Verizon to Xfinity Mobile.

 

“Half the Price” Claims

NAD determined that Comcast’s choice to compare its plan to Verizon’s cheapest 5G plans that offer Ultra Wideband – the same speeds offered by Xfinity – when properly disclosed is appropriate because they are the cheapest plans from Verizon with speeds most equivalent to Xfinity Mobile. 

In addition to disclosing the basis of comparison, an advertiser must disclose material differences between the services. NAD has found that when comparing telecommunication service plans, material differences that must be disclosed include data usage thresholds, the requirement to pay for a bundled internet service or product, and the inclusion of an autopay discount – each of which was present in this case.

NAD concluded that Comcast’s comparative savings claim would not be misleading if the basis of comparison and material limitations are clearly and conspicuously disclosed. The challenged advertising includes disclosures, which NAD found did not inform consumers of all the material differences between the products and recommended that the disclosure be modified to include:

  • The tiers being compared;
  • The fact that the two services have different high-speed data limits;
  • The requirement to subscribe to Xfinity Internet service; and
  • The exclusion of Verizon’s autopay discount.

 

NAD found that the absence of a disclosure informing consumers that Verizon’s plan offers differences in ancillary benefits, such as subscriptions to streaming services compared to Xfinity is not a material omission or a material difference that must be disclosed.

 

The Implied “Massive Savings” Claim

NAD considered whether two visual comparisons used in the “Comparisons” commercial conveyed the implied message that Verizon consumers will receive massive savings if they switched to Xfinity.

NAD found that although it is unlikely that any reasonable consumer would expect to save enough money that they could literally purchase thousands of concert tickets or dozens of bags of groceries as depicted in the commercial, they may still take away a message that they can obtain massive savings from switching to Xfinity. Accordingly, NAD recommended that Comcast modify its advertising to avoid conveying such a message (e.g., by adding qualifying language to quantify the actual savings a consumer could expect).

In its advertiser statement, Comcast stated that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s decision.” 

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

Latest Decisions

Decision

NAD Finds Certain Claims Comparing Comcast Xfinity Internet Speed to AT&T Supported; Recommends Others be Modified or Discontinued

New York, NY – September 28, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that Comcast Cable Communications, LLC provided a reasonable basis for certain internet speed claims, however, NAD recommended that Comcast modify its 

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

NAD Recommends Modification of Disclosures Used in Connection with Comcast Xfinity Mobile vs. Verizon 5G Comparative Savings Claims

New York, NY – September 15, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that comparative savings claims made by Comcast Cable Communications, LLC about its Xfinity Mobile 5G service plan would not be misleading when compared with the cheapest two Ultra Wideband 5G plans by Verizon...

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

National Advertising Review Board Recommends P&G Discontinue Odor Elimination Claims for Febreze Products

New York, NY – September 15, 2022 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) recommended that P&G discontinue certain “odor elimination” claims that P&G makes across its Febreze line of home fragrance products, which include the Febreze air, candle, car, plug, small spaces, and wax melts products.

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

National Advertising Division Recommends CreditAssociates Discontinue “America’s #1 Debt Relief Company” Claim and Certain Consumer Testimonials

New York, NY – September 14, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that CreditAssociates, LLC discontinue the claim “America’s #1 Debt Relief Company,” “4.9 out of 5 based on 8,641 reviews – Trustpilot,” and savings claims that appeared in testimonials featured on the...

Read the Decision Summary