The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has upheld some claims made by Cox in television and radio advertising for its Gigablast internet service but has advised Cox to make changes to the advertisements. The decision came in response to a challenge from AT&T.
In the ads, Cox states that it has gigabit available everywhere – a claim that NAD said is true throughout areas where the advertising has run. NAD also accepted Cox’s claim that less than half of AT&T Fiber customers have access to speeds of at least 1 Gbps because of the limited availability of AT&T services based on fiber-to-the-premises.
NAD noted, however, that Cox upload speeds are only 35 Mbps and advised Cox to indicate that in its advertising.
According to a press release, NAD noted that “consumers seeking gig-speed (or faster) internet services should understand both the upload and download speeds, particularly because the upload and download speeds are so different. Both upload and download speeds may be relevant to a consumer’s interest in gig-speed internet.”
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.
Cox Advertising Claims
NAD also took issue with Cox’s claim that its customers “can always choose internet that can deliver speeds faster than 5G providers.”
According to NAD, a “reasonable message” conveyed by that statement is that AT&T cannot deliver speeds faster than 5G in markets where the two companies compete. That message is not supported because in some markets, AT&T provides 1 Gbps speeds, NAD said.
NAD advised Cox to modify its advertising to “avoid conveying the unsupported implied message that AT&T does not offer similar or faster speeds than 5G providers in markets where Cox and AT&T compete.”
In an advertiser statement, Cox said it will comply with NAD’s recommendations.
U.S. broadband providers are aggressive competitors. This isn’t the first time NAD has been asked to evaluate one provider’s claim against another.
Just last month, NAD advised Comcast to tone down advertising for its mobile offering that compared the company with Verizon. Ironically, Comcast’s mobile offering relies, in large part, on Verizon’s network.
The month before, NAD recommended that T-Mobile stop making several claims for its T-Mobile Home Internet fixed wireless offering.
One thought on “Cox Gigablast Advertising Claims Challenged – Some Upheld, Some Not”
I’ve often wondered if service providers claimed to deliver 1 Gbps speeds if the BBB would chastise them if the speed tests revealed roughly 950 Mbps instead of the full 1 Gbps. We all know that there’s “overhead” that needs to be reserved for data transmission with any level of speed package.
So if the BBB does come down on 1 Gbps speed providers for not delivering the full advertised speed to the premise, does that mean that service providers need to set packages at 1.1 Gbps? (as an example)