The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has recommended that Comcast modify advertising for its mobile 5G service that compares the service to Verizon’s. The decision on Comcast vs. Verizon came in response to a challenge from Verizon.
Verizon argued that it was misleading to compare Comcast’s single 5G plan with two Verizon mid-tier plans, the BBB National Advertising Division explained in a press release.
In its decision, 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.”
It’s an ironic situation, considering that Comcast’s mobile offering, dubbed Xfinity Mobile, relies in large part, on Verizon’s mobile network, particularly when talking 5G service.
BBB National Programs is a non-profit organization that resolves disputes between advertisers. The operations became an independent organization in 2019 when the Better Business Bureau was restructured.
Comcast Vs. Verizon Mobile Ads
The Comcast advertisement claimed that:
- 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”
According to NAD, Comcast’s decision to compare its Xfinity Mobile 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 lowest-cost plans from Verizon with speeds most equivalent to Xfinity Mobile.
NAD argued, though, that to properly disclose the basis of comparison, Comcast should 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
- The exclusion of Verizon autopay discounts
NAD didn’t say that Comcast should disclose the ancillary benefits included with Verizon’s offering, such as streaming services. But NAD did take issue with Comcast’s suggestion that consumers could save enough money to purchase thousands of concert tickets or dozens of bags of groceries by switching to Xfinity.
One way to avoid conveying possible massive savings would be to include language quantifying the actual savings that a consumer could expect, the decision says.
Comcast said it would comply with NAD’s decision.