T-Mobile told to modify post-merger 5G network claims by ad group


When T-Mobile finally completed its merger with Sprint, it made commitments for things like “building the world’s best broad and deep nationwide 5G network.” It turns out that another major US carrier took issue with some of T-Mo’s pledges.

The National Advertising Division has weighed in on several claims made by T-Mobile about its post-merger network benefits that were challeneged by Verizon. The NAD, a self-regulatory group that’s part of BBB National Programs, found that some of T-Mobile’s future-based claims were supported but it also recommended that T-Mo modify some others.

After reviewing the claims, the NAD says that T-Mobile provided a reasonable basis for claims that it “will build America’s largest…5G network” and that “we’re building a 5G network that will deliver unprecedented reach…” and that Verizon’s evidence against these claims was insufficient.

However, the NAD took issue with claims made by T-Mobile such as “you’ll get the best 5G network” and “you’ll get the…most reliable network.” The NAD argues that consumers could interpret these claims to mean that this “best network” will imminently be available to most T-Mobile customers, and so the NAD recommends that T-Mo modify its advertising to avoid conveying these messages.

The NAD also concluded that claims about the benefits of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, combined with images like the one you see at the top of this post with magenta and yellow beams shooting from tower to tower, could reasonably convey the message that T-Mo’s touted merger benefits will be imminently realized by consumers.

T-Mobile has told the NAD that it “supports the self-regulatory process and will comply with the NAD’s recommendations.” When asked about the NAD’s decision, a T-Mobile spokesperson gave TmoNews the following statement:

“T-Mobile has & will continue to build the largest 5G network with the most 5G coverage – and NAD agreed that we can continue to share that with consumers.”

T-Mo has been rolling out lots of new mid-band 5G coverage lately using the 2.5GHz spectrum that it got as part of its merger with Sprint. This is helping to boost 5G coverage and speeds, and T-Mo has said that it plans to deploy a lot more mid-band 5G before 2020 is over. T-Mo may tout this improved 5G coverage in ads like this one, but because of the NAD’s new recommendations, it may choose to be a bit more careful about the wording it uses in those future ads.

Source: National Advertising Division

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