National Advertising Division Recommends Cox Discontinue Implied Superior Reliability Claim for Cox Internet

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

703.247.9330 /

New York, NY – January 19, 2023 – Acting on a challenge by AT&T Services, Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Cox Communications, Inc. discontinue advertising that conveys the implied message that internet from competing services is glitchy and unreliable, but Cox Internet is not.

AT&T Services challenged claims made by Cox in a television commercial for its “Gigablast” internet service that provides download speeds of 1 Gbps and upload speeds of up to 35 Mbps. 

At issue for NAD was whether the challenged commercial’s depiction of the failure of an unnamed, generic competing service to reliably stream a baseball broadcast reasonably conveys:

  • a broad implied message of superior reliability for Cox Internet over competing services; or
  • whether it communicates a limited message about Cox’s ability to provide 4K streaming.


Though an advertiser is free to highlight the actual differences between its product and competing products, claims that highlight the shortcomings of a competing product must be truthful, accurate, and narrowly drawn so as not to falsely disparage the competitor. When highlighting a problem of a competing product that the advertiser’s own product can resolve, the advertiser must ensure that the problem is clearly identified in the ad, the extent of the problem is not exaggerated, and the advertiser’s product solves the problem. 

In this case, NAD found that:

  • The challenged commercial depicts a streaming failure but does not suggest a reason for the failure, other than “internet from the wrong provider.” Accordingly, consumers may reasonably conclude that the man’s experience is typical and that the “wrong” internet refers to any competing provider.  
  • In the context of the commercial, which includes an express message about the high speeds offered by Cox Internet (“America’s Fastest Internet Download Speeds”) and an image of a television freezing images, one reasonable message conveyed is that Cox Internet can reliably stream live video when other providers cannot because they are glitchy and unreliable. 


NAD concluded that Cox Internet did not provide evidence to support a broad message of comparative superiority over all other providers or any specific message that other internet providers are insufficient for the streaming activity depicted in the commercial. AT&T provided evidence that other providers, including AT&T, offer internet speeds sufficient for routine streaming, as well as speeds above that which is recommended for 4K content (50-100 Mbps and higher). 

For these reasons, NAD recommended that Cox discontinue advertising that conveys the implied message that internet from competing services is glitchy and unreliable, but Cox Internet is not. 

NAD noted that nothing in its decision precludes the advertiser from making narrower truthful and non-misleading claims about the speed and performance of its service and its ability to stream 4K video.

In its advertiser statement, Cox stated that although it “disagrees with NAD’s interpretation of the advertising at issue” it “will take NAD’s recommendations into consideration in its future advertising.”

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


National Advertising Division Recommends Dyper Modify Biodegradable Claims for Dyper Brand Diapers

New York, NY – January 31, 2023 – In a challenge brought by Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the National Advertising Division (NAD) determined Dyper, Inc. supported claims that certain components of its bamboo viscose diapers are biodegradable but recommended the claim be qualified in certain ways.

Read the Decision Summary

T-Mobile Voluntarily Discontinues “Customer Loyalty 4x Higher than Xfinity” Claim Following National Advertising Division Challenge by Comcast

New York, NY – January 31, 2023 –  Comcast originally filed a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge against competitor T-Mobile’s claim that it has “customer loyalty 4 x higher than Xfinity” made in a television commercial promoting T-Mobile’s Home Internet service. The National Advertising...

Read the Decision Summary

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Refers Perfectly Posh Earnings Claims to the FTC and Utah Attorney General for Possible Enforcement Action

McLean, VA – January 26, 2023 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs has referred direct selling company Perfectly Posh, LLC. to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Utah Attorney General for possible enforcement action. The referral comes after a lack of...
Read the Decision Summary

National Advertising Division Finds Certain Claims for T-Mobile Home Internet Supported; T-Mobile Appeals Determination That Certain Claims Were Unsupported

New York, NY – January 23, 2023 – In a challenge brought by Comcast, the National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that T-Mobile’s advertising provided a reasonable basis for its price lock claim and concluded that other challenged claims did not convey false or misleading...

Read the Decision Summary