National Advertising Division recommends T-Mobile stop Gwen Stefani and Tom Brady Super Bowl ads

Posted: October 5, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. CDT|Update: October 26, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. CDT

NEW YORK, October 26, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of National BBB Programs has recommended that T-Mobile United States, Inc. is shutting down two TV commercials for its 5G network that were challenged by competitor AT&T Services, Inc. The challenged commercials, which aired during Super Bowl 2021, feature well-known celebrities, Gwen Stefani and Tom brady, engaging in video chats on their cell phones.

National Advertising Division (NAD) (PRNewsfoto / National Advertising Division, B)

The “Stefani” ad begins by showing a conversation between Gwen Stefani and Adam levine from Stefani’s perspective. Stefani describes the type of man she is interested in. The voiceover then says, “On an uneven network, that’s what Adam heard.” Stefani’s description is then replayed from Levine’s point of view, but due to the significant video distortions and choppy or missing audio, Levine misunderstands Stefani’s description and relates it to the opposite type of man he is. ‘she described (Blake Shelton). The voiceover concludes the vignette by stating, “Don’t trust your love life to any network. T-Mobile has more 1s in 5G than any other network.”

The “Brady” ad follows a similar format. Tom brady is displayed during a video call with Rob gronkowski ask for advice on his next career change. The ad first shows the conversation from Gronkowski’s perspective as he describes the pleasures of retirement and encourages Brady to join him in Florida to relax. After the voiceover declares, “On an uneven network, that’s what Tom heard,” the conversation is replayed from Brady’s point of view. Again, significant issues in audio and video lead to poor communication, with Brady believing that Gronkowski recommended he switch to Tampa Bay and win another soccer championship with him. The voiceover concludes the vignette with: “Don’t trust just any network to make big decisions. Go for T-Mobile, the 5G GOAT.”

Both parties have submitted consumer perception surveys in support of their respective positions: T-Mobile in support of its arguments that the Stefani and Brady ads do not convey a derogatory message about the service or network. ‘AT&T (or any other competitor to T-Mobile in general) or a message that T-Mobile’s service is superior when it comes to video calling, but instead uses humor to highlight the benefits of its 5G network and ; AT&T to demonstrate that the disputed advertisements communicate a disparaging and comparative superior performance claim. However, NAD refused to rely on the advertiser’s or the challenger’s polls due to concerns about the reliability of each.

By putting itself in the shoes of the reasonable consumer, NAD determined that the Stefani and Brady ads reasonably convey the comparative message that T-Mobile provides better 5G service for video calls than its competitors, and consumers making calls over the a competitor’s service were likely to experience uneven spots. service they wouldn’t know about on T-Mobile. T-Mobile argued that its 5G coverage and 5G speed test results corroborate the comparative message that it provides better 5G service for video calls. NAD, however, determined that T-Mobile’s speed tests did not provide a reasonable basis for the messages conveyed by the disputed advertisements and recommended that T-Mobile end them.

In its announcer statement, T-Mobile said it “is disappointed with NAD’s decision but will comply with its recommendations.” The advertiser further said that while he “is disappointed with NAD’s conclusion that consumers can get a negative message from its humorous ads,” he “remains a respectful supporter of the self-regulation process.”

All BBB country program decision summaries are available in the case decision library. For the full text of the NAD, NARB and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

About BBB National Programs: National BBB programs are where businesses turn to build consumer confidence and consumers are heard. The nonprofit is creating a level playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Assume its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs now oversees over a dozen national industry self-regulatory programs and continues to evolve its work and increase its impact by providing business advice and encouraging best practices in areas such as advertising, marketing to children and privacy. To learn more, visit

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulatory and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the United States. consumer protection and level the playing field for businesses.

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SOURCE BBB National Programs

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