In Two Fast-Track SWIFT Cases, National Advertising Division Recommends Claim be Modified or Discontinued and Disclosures Voluntarily Modified
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New York, NY – December 8, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs closed two new Fast-Track SWIFT cases in December. In those cases:
- Verizon Communications, Inc. challenged the claim that Comcast Cable Communications, LLC’s Xfinity internet service is “up to 7x faster than Verizon 5G Home Internet”; and
- Truth in Advertising, Inc. (TINA.org) challenged disclosures in promotional ads for SAT preparation courses offered by TPR Education, LLC (The Princeton Review).
NAD Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited NAD challenge process designed for single-issue advertising cases.
Verizon v. Comcast
Verizon challenged advertising comparing Comcast’s Gigabit tier (offering download speeds of up to 1200 Mbps) to Verizon’s 5G Home Internet service by stating that Xfinity internet service is “up to 7x faster than Verizon 5G Home Internet.”
NAD determined that, based on the 5G Home Internet speed range presented by Verizon on its website (typical download speeds vary between 85 Mbps and 300 Mbps), Comcast has a reasonable basis for the claim that Xfinity’s Gigabit tier is seven times faster than Verizon’s 5G Home Internet given that an approximate mid-point of the 85-300 Mbps range translates into a seven times greater download speed advantage.
However, NAD recommended that Comcast modify the claim that its Xfinity internet service is “up to 7x faster than Verizon 5G Home Internet” to clearly and conspicuously disclose the material difference that the “7x faster” claim is a comparison between Xfinity’s Gigabit tier to Verizon’s 5G Home Internet that offers a range of speeds, or, alternatively, discontinue the claim.
NAD determined that the challenge was appropriate for Fast Track SWIFT because it presented the single issue as to whether the advertiser’s comparative internet speed claim is supported.
In its advertiser statement, Comcast stated that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendation” and “agrees to modify its disclosures, as recommended, to clarify the basis of comparison.”
TINA.ORG v. The Princeton Review
TINA.org challenged disclosures contained in promotional emails and online advertising for The Princeton Review’s SAT preparation courses. TINA.org argued that The Princeton Review does not adequately disclose the conditions that must be met for the company to honor its money back guarantee.
TINA.org noted that an asterisk in a promotional email following “Score a 1400+ or your money back.*” corresponds to fine print at the bottom of the email that notes that “restrictions apply” and directs consumers to the terms and conditions for details. Specifically, for the SAT 1400+ program, students with a starting score below 1250 are “guaranteed” at least a 150 point increase and students with a starting score of 1250 or higher are “guaranteed” a score of at least 1400.
During the challenge, The Princeton Review agreed to permanently modify the challenged advertising to clearly and conspicuously disclose the conditions for its money back guarantee.
NAD determined that the challenge was appropriate for Fast Track SWIFT because it presented the single issue as to whether the advertiser’s disclosures in connection with its money back guarantee are adequate.
In its advertiser statement, The Princeton Review stated that it is “modifying the presentation of information about its money back guarantee to further enhance consumer understanding” and noted that it “supports the self-regulatory process and appreciates the NAD’s attention to this matter.”
Learn more about the NAD Fast-Track SWIFT challenge process. 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.
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