NARB Recommends Comcast Discontinue Use of “10G” When Referring to the Name of its Network
Feb 09, 2024
New York, NY – February 5, 2024 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising body of BBB National Programs, recommended that Comcast Cable Communications, LLC discontinue use of the term 10G in the product service name “Xfinity 10G Network” and when 10G is used descriptively to describe the Xfinity network. The use of 10G in a manner that is not false or misleading and is consistent with the panel decision (e.g., in a manner that does not misleadingly describe the Xfinity network) is not precluded by the panel recommendations.
This recommendation is consistent with the conclusion in another filed by Comcast following the National Advertising Division’s (NAD) decision in a similar (but not identical) advertising challenge brought by Verizon Communications Inc. (NAD Case No. 7213; NARB Panel 326).
The advertising at issue in this appeal had been challenged by T-Mobile US, Inc. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7212), Comcast appealed NAD’s finding that 10G as used by the advertiser communicates express messages that are unsubstantiated. T-Mobile cross-appealed NAD’s determination that Comcast provided a reasonable basis for its “Next Generation” claim and the implied claim that Comcast had already achieved a major technological revolution.
In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel determined that Comcast should discontinue use of the term 10G, both when used in the name of the network itself (“Xfinity 10G Network”) as well as when used to describe the Xfinity network.
In so finding, the NARB panel concluded that 10G expressly communicates that the Xfinity network provides subscribers with 10 Gbps speeds. The panel concluded that the substantiation Comcast relied on to support this claim was not sufficient because of limitations concerning Comcast’s Gigabit Pro service tier, including the difficulty of finding the availability of the service on the Xfinity website, the possible need to obtain local government permission to install the necessary fiber, and the relatively high cost of the service. In addition, the panel noted that Comcast had not disclosed the number of consumers who subscribed to that tier service.
Further, the NARB panel agreed with NAD’s conclusions that Comcast has provided support for its Next Generation claim and, as incorporated in the arguments for such, the implied claim that Comcast had already achieved a major technological revolution based on its substantial investment in the Xfinity network that has resulted in significant improvements in key metrics of interest to consumers.
Comcast stated that although it strongly disagrees with NARB’s analysis and approach, Comcast will comply with NARB’s recommendations, and “reserves the right to use the term ‘10G’ (or ’Xfinity 10G’) in a manner that does not misleadingly describe the Xfinity network itself.”
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.
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