National Advertising Review Board Refers Certain Advertising Claims for Xfinity Mobile to Federal Trade Commission

New York, NY – August 9, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising body of BBB National Programs, has referred advertising claims made by Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for review after the company declined to comply with NARB’s recommendations to modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for Xfinity Mobile. 

Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7160), Comcast appealed NAD’s recommendations to modify or discontinue certain challenged advertising claims. The advertising at issue had been challenged by AT&T Services, Inc.

Comcast (under the Xfinity Mobile brand) uses Verizon Wireless’ network to provide cellular service to its mobile customers. Xfinity Mobile customers use voice and data services on their mobile devices through (i) their Xfinity home internet, (ii) millions of public Xfinity WiFi hotspots if the customer is within range, or (iii) the Verizon Wireless cellular network.

The NARB panel affirmed NAD’s decision in its entirety and recommended that Comcast:

  • Modify its advertising to clearly and conspicuously disclose that its “fastest mobile service” claim is based on combined WiFi and cellular speeds and that the claim is true only within its WiFi footprint or when connected to WiFi;
  • Discontinue its “most reliable,” “highest ranked,” and “best network” claims for Xfinity Mobile; and
  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose in its advertising that to be eligible to subscribe to Xfinity Mobile, Xfinity Internet is required. 

 

Finally, the NARB panel concluded that use of a hyperlink on the Xfinity Mobile website to make any of the recommended disclosures would not satisfy the conspicuous standard.

Comcast stated that it “disagrees with NARB’s decision and maintains that each of its claims is truthful and non-misleading.” Further, Comcast stated that “NARB disregarded relevant information and evidence concerning the network reliability Xfinity Mobile customers receive” and “because NARB’s decision would prohibit Comcast from truthfully promoting the network that Xfinity Mobile customers receive, Comcast cannot comply with NARB’s recommendation to discontinue these claims.”

Given Comcast’s decision not to comply with the NARB panel’s recommendations, NARB is referring the advertising to the FTC for possible enforcement action.

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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