The National Advertising Division (NAD) has reportedly suggested that Comcast should not advertise the ?Xfinity service? saying it offers the fastest Internet service in the U.S. For those uninitiated, Xfinity is Comcast?s widely-used high speed internet service. The Comcast ripoff incident comes to light after the company had a?nationwide outage in July for more than 10 hours.
Apart from this, NAD has also advised Comcast to not broadcast specific ads where the company claims to deliver the fastest in-house Wi-Fi connectivity. Comcast is not completely in the wrong because it relied on the data provided by the widely-used?Ookla SpeedTest service.
Ookla apparently awarded Comcast for offering the fastest internet service. However, this crowd-sourced company reportedly banked on just the top 10 percent of every ISP’s download results to conclude,?ARS Technica noted.
Even if we excuse?Comcast for proclaiming that they deliver the fastest internet service based on Ookla?s stats, the point to be noted is that there are many categories of services offered by various service providers.
For instance, Comcast offers a lot of data plans based on speeds, prices and tiers. Therefore, it goes without saying that, when advertising, Comcast should have mentioned in which category or tier they offer the best service when compared to the competitors.
In contrast, the ads suggest that Comcast offers the faster internet service, which is nothing but a blanket statement and it may not be true.
NAD?s exact words summarize the issue in hand perfectly: “NAD determined that the claims at issue in both print and broadcast advertising reasonably conveyed a message of overall superiority?that regardless of which speed tier purchased by a consumer, in a head-to-head comparison, Xfinity would deliver faster speeds.”
Furthermore, NAD reportedly said Ookla’s methodology to determine the fastest service is not good enough to claim overall superiority.
To top it off, Comcast’s fastest in-house Wi-Fi claim was reportedly sourced from Allion Test Labs. Here again, Comcast generalized the claim, instead of going into details.
However, NAD did not act on its own. In fact, Verizon had apparently challenged the claim made by Comcast. After which, NAD intervened and requested Comcast to discontinue several ads.
Interestingly,?Verizon also faced a similar issue with a claim made in its ads. At that point in time, Comcast had questioned Verizon’s speed claims. This led the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) to intervene and recommend the necessary changes.
In any case, Comcast is not happy with NAD?s recommendations and hence, it has apparently appealed to the NARB, ARS Technica noted.
While both NAD and NARB have no legal stance as they are self-regulatory bodies, they expect companies to abide by the recommendations to offer a level-playing field for one and all.