BBB National Programs Newsroom

National Advertising Division Finds Verizon’s “Fastest 5G in the World” Claim Supported for its 5G Ultra Wideband

New York, NY – April 7, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Verizon Communications, Inc. provided a reasonable basis for the comparative performance claim that its 5G Ultra Wideband provides the “Fastest 5G in the World.” NAD concluded that Verizon’s evidence was a good fit for the claim, and that the challenged television commercial clearly and conspicuously discloses that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is “available only in parts of select cities.” The claim at issue was challenged by AT&T Services, Inc.

It was not disputed in this proceeding that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is, at present, in fact, the world’s fastest or that the challenged commercial adequately limited the “fastest 5G in the world claim” to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. In this proceeding, NAD considered whether consumers’ ability to connect to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband 0.5% of the time rendered the comparative speed claim of so little consumer relevance as to warrant precluding Verizon from making the claim. 

NAD determined that the data in the record provided a reasonable basis for a truthful, narrowly tailored comparative speed claim. The Opensignal reports of actual Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband users demonstrated that by October 2020 Verizon customers located in parts of 55 cities with 5G capable devices could, in fact, connect to Verizon’s mmWave service, thereby taking advantage of the “fastest 5G in the world.” 

Indeed, Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is available to all Verizon customers with 5G-capable devices when they are in the specific parts of the cities where it has launched. While these Verizon customers may have only accessed its 5G Ultra Wideband network 0.5% of the time, this data is relative and must be considered against the overall 5G usage at the time. During the relevant time period, 5G smartphone users were still spending the vast majority of time connected to older mobile technology and by October 2020, overall, 5G usage (regardless of spectrum) was only at 21.4%. 

Further, NAD concluded that the challenged commercial clearly and conspicuously discloses that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is “available only in parts of select cities” and is in the process of “rolling out” in cities across the country, thereby allowing viewers to determine the consumer relevance of Verizon’s speed for themselves. Absent clear evidence that a product innovation has no consumer relevance, NAD is extremely reluctant to recommend that an advertiser discontinue its promotion and, on the record in this case, found no compelling reason for doing so.

Finally, NAD acknowledged AT&T’s concern that with Verizon’s launch of its nationwide 5G low band service there exists the potential for consumer confusion between its nationwide 5G and 5G Ultra Wideband services with respect to Verizon’s “fastest 5G in the world,” claim. Thus, NAD advised that going forward, Verizon carefully craft its comparative 5G performance claims to make clear that “fastest 5G in the world” refers only to its 5G Ultra Wideband.

In its advertiser statement, Verizon stated that it is “pleased that NAD found the claim Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is the ‘Fastest 5G in the World’ to be truthful and accurate.”

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

###

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.  

National Advertising Division Finds Verizon’s “Fastest 5G in the World” Claim Supported for its 5G Ultra Wideband

New York, NY – April 7, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Verizon Communications, Inc. provided a reasonable basis for the comparative performance claim that its 5G Ultra Wideband provides the “Fastest 5G in the World.” NAD concluded that Verizon’s evidence was a good fit for the claim, and that the challenged television commercial clearly and conspicuously discloses that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is “available only in parts of select cities.” The claim at issue was challenged by AT&T Services, Inc.

It was not disputed in this proceeding that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is, at present, in fact, the world’s fastest or that the challenged commercial adequately limited the “fastest 5G in the world claim” to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. In this proceeding, NAD considered whether consumers’ ability to connect to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband 0.5% of the time rendered the comparative speed claim of so little consumer relevance as to warrant precluding Verizon from making the claim. 

NAD determined that the data in the record provided a reasonable basis for a truthful, narrowly tailored comparative speed claim. The Opensignal reports of actual Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband users demonstrated that by October 2020 Verizon customers located in parts of 55 cities with 5G capable devices could, in fact, connect to Verizon’s mmWave service, thereby taking advantage of the “fastest 5G in the world.” 

Indeed, Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is available to all Verizon customers with 5G-capable devices when they are in the specific parts of the cities where it has launched. While these Verizon customers may have only accessed its 5G Ultra Wideband network 0.5% of the time, this data is relative and must be considered against the overall 5G usage at the time. During the relevant time period, 5G smartphone users were still spending the vast majority of time connected to older mobile technology and by October 2020, overall, 5G usage (regardless of spectrum) was only at 21.4%. 

Further, NAD concluded that the challenged commercial clearly and conspicuously discloses that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is “available only in parts of select cities” and is in the process of “rolling out” in cities across the country, thereby allowing viewers to determine the consumer relevance of Verizon’s speed for themselves. Absent clear evidence that a product innovation has no consumer relevance, NAD is extremely reluctant to recommend that an advertiser discontinue its promotion and, on the record in this case, found no compelling reason for doing so.

Finally, NAD acknowledged AT&T’s concern that with Verizon’s launch of its nationwide 5G low band service there exists the potential for consumer confusion between its nationwide 5G and 5G Ultra Wideband services with respect to Verizon’s “fastest 5G in the world,” claim. Thus, NAD advised that going forward, Verizon carefully craft its comparative 5G performance claims to make clear that “fastest 5G in the world” refers only to its 5G Ultra Wideband.

In its advertiser statement, Verizon stated that it is “pleased that NAD found the claim Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is the ‘Fastest 5G in the World’ to be truthful and accurate.”

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

###

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.  

Blog

Call to Action: Improve Green Marketing and Avoid Greenwashing

Green marketing can be a strong marketing tool for companies to differentiate their sustainable approach to business and help consumers choose more sustainable products. But with the variety and volume of green marketing today, does it? Are environmental claims supported so that consumers can make choices that help the planet? While some observers call for more rigorous standards, governmental guidelines regulating environmental marketing already exist. Industry self-regulation also plays an important role in leveling the playing field on green marketing so that consumer purchases align with their environmental goals.
Read more
Blog

Businesses Should Be Held Accountable For Their ESG Claims

Today, businesses’ strategies and tactics to prove they are good corporate citizens go beyond the environment to include social and governance practices, otherwise known as ESG. Though consumers rely on businesses for information about their current corporate environmental efforts and their approaches to social and governance issues, ESG messaging is not something that consumers can easily confirm for themselves. A widespread commitment to accountability in ESG messaging to consumers would be an outstanding complement to the work that is already being done in communicating ESG policies to investors.
Read more
Blog

Unpacking Misleading Advertising Claims in the Children’s Space

Advertisements may seem simple on the surface, but certain aspects of the ad business, including advertising law, are complex. The role of monitoring ads directed to children is especially complex. It seems straightforward: advertisers are not allowed to lie in their advertisements, but an advertiser is also responsible for all reasonable interpretations of the claims it makes and not just the messages it intended to convey. This blog outlines how to make sure your advertising passes the truthfulness test.
Read more
Blog

A Beginner's Guide to Reading Privacy Policies

Privacy policies are complicated and can be frustrating to read, especially when you are trying to learn about your child's data privacy online. The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) reviews child-directed online environments to ensure that children’s data is collected and handled responsibly. As a parent, follow these steps to take a proactive role in your child’s data privacy, using privacy policies as your guide to better understand an online service’s data collection practices.
Read more

National Advertising Division Finds Verizon’s “Fastest 5G in the World” Claim Supported for its 5G Ultra Wideband

New York, NY – April 7, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Verizon Communications, Inc. provided a reasonable basis for the comparative performance claim that its 5G Ultra Wideband provides the “Fastest 5G in the World.” NAD concluded that Verizon’s evidence was a good fit for the claim, and that the challenged television commercial clearly and conspicuously discloses that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is “available only in parts of select cities.” The claim at issue was challenged by AT&T Services, Inc.

It was not disputed in this proceeding that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is, at present, in fact, the world’s fastest or that the challenged commercial adequately limited the “fastest 5G in the world claim” to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. In this proceeding, NAD considered whether consumers’ ability to connect to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband 0.5% of the time rendered the comparative speed claim of so little consumer relevance as to warrant precluding Verizon from making the claim. 

NAD determined that the data in the record provided a reasonable basis for a truthful, narrowly tailored comparative speed claim. The Opensignal reports of actual Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband users demonstrated that by October 2020 Verizon customers located in parts of 55 cities with 5G capable devices could, in fact, connect to Verizon’s mmWave service, thereby taking advantage of the “fastest 5G in the world.” 

Indeed, Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is available to all Verizon customers with 5G-capable devices when they are in the specific parts of the cities where it has launched. While these Verizon customers may have only accessed its 5G Ultra Wideband network 0.5% of the time, this data is relative and must be considered against the overall 5G usage at the time. During the relevant time period, 5G smartphone users were still spending the vast majority of time connected to older mobile technology and by October 2020, overall, 5G usage (regardless of spectrum) was only at 21.4%. 

Further, NAD concluded that the challenged commercial clearly and conspicuously discloses that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is “available only in parts of select cities” and is in the process of “rolling out” in cities across the country, thereby allowing viewers to determine the consumer relevance of Verizon’s speed for themselves. Absent clear evidence that a product innovation has no consumer relevance, NAD is extremely reluctant to recommend that an advertiser discontinue its promotion and, on the record in this case, found no compelling reason for doing so.

Finally, NAD acknowledged AT&T’s concern that with Verizon’s launch of its nationwide 5G low band service there exists the potential for consumer confusion between its nationwide 5G and 5G Ultra Wideband services with respect to Verizon’s “fastest 5G in the world,” claim. Thus, NAD advised that going forward, Verizon carefully craft its comparative 5G performance claims to make clear that “fastest 5G in the world” refers only to its 5G Ultra Wideband.

In its advertiser statement, Verizon stated that it is “pleased that NAD found the claim Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is the ‘Fastest 5G in the World’ to be truthful and accurate.”

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

###

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.  

 

 

Media Inquiry