New York, NY – July 28, 2023 – In a challenge brought by AT&T Services, Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Altice USA, Inc. modify its advertising to avoid conveying the message that it has faster download speeds than AT&T in markets where Optimum Internet competes with AT&T.
NAD determined that Altice’s claim, “Optimum has faster download speeds than AT&T nationwide,” in context, reasonably conveys the message that consumers will receive faster speeds nationwide if they switch to Optimum from AT&T, including where both services are available.
NAD noted that, unlike wireless internet, the comparative speed of two fixed internet networks is primarily meaningful to customers who are or plan to be located in a service area in which the two networks overlap.
NAD determined that Altice provided a reasonable basis for the challenged claim by relying on undisputed Ookla Speedtest data that it has faster speeds based on a nationwide average. However, more granular state-wide data submitted by AT&T raised concerns about the actual comparative speed of the two services when looking at their overlapping service area.
NAD concluded that claims of faster download speeds in markets where the services overlap were not substantiated.
NAD found that while Altice’s disclosure “based on analysis by Ookla of Speedtest Intelligence data comparing national median fixed download speeds of Optimum and AT&T Internet, Q4 2022,” does inform consumers of the source of the claim, it does not adequately explain that the claim does not compare speeds in areas where the two services overlap.
NAD recommended that Altice modify its advertising to avoid conveying the message that it has faster download speeds than AT&T in markets where Optimum Internet competes with AT&T.
In its advertiser statement, Altice stated that it “appreciates NAD’s recommendations and will take them into account in future advertising.”
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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 Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.