National Advertising Review Board Recommends Mint Mobile Discontinue or Modify Claim that its Unlimited Plan is “Now Just $15/Mo.”
Nov 28, 2023
New York, NY – November 28, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising body of BBB National Programs, recommended that Mint Mobile, LLC discontinue or modify the claim that its Unlimited plan is “now just $15/mo.”
The advertising at issue had been challenged by AT&T Services, Inc. before the National Advertising Division (NAD) as part of NAD’s Fast Track SWIFT expedited challenge process, designed for single-issue advertising cases. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7250), Mint Mobile appealed NAD’s recommendations.
Mint Mobile offers prepaid phone plans, which, unlike those offered by AT&T and other major wireless carriers, require customers to pay upfront before receiving service. Mint Mobile’s $15/mo. price for its Unlimited plan is a promotional rate that is only in effect for three months. After three months of service, the monthly rate increases, with the exact amount of the increase dependent on which plan the consumer selects.
At issue in the Fast-Track SWIFT challenge and appeal is whether the nature of Mint Mobile’s promotional offer was adequately disclosed.
In banner ads, on social media, and in a television commercial, Mint Mobile advertised that the price of its Unlimited plan is “now just $15/mo.” The NARB panel determined that the claim in the various advertisements conveyed that the $15/mo. price is a permanent price for Mint Mobile’s unlimited phone plans that were previously $30 to $35/mo., depending on the duration of the plan.
Further, in agreement with NAD, the NARB panel found that the current disclosure appearing in the advertisements does not meet the well understood standard requiring clear and conspicuous disclosure of material limitations for an advertised price offer. Accordingly, the disclosure was inadequate to modify the misleading claim that Mint Mobile has reduced the price of its unlimited plan to $15/month going forward.
The NARB panel recommended that Mint Mobile discontinue the claim that its Unlimited plan is “now just $15/mo.” or clearly and conspicuously disclose that the offer is a promotional or introductory offer for the first three months of service as part of the main claim or in similar size text and font in close proximity to the main claim.
Mint Mobile stated that while the challenged advertising was discontinued last month, Mint Mobile is committed to the self-regulatory process and will comply with NARB’s decision should it use the challenged claim again.
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Review Board (NARB): The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 85 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters.