Verizon Will Pull Some 5G Ads Claiming Extensive Coverage

For years now Verizon has been touting it’s super fast 5G network capabilities, but it turns out not all of them are totally accurate. Now, BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD) is confronting Verizon on some of its claims that come across as misleading to consumers.

NAD recommended that Verizon stop claiming to be “building the most powerful 5G experience for America” on the basis that the statement is not supported by evidence and that several implied claims “potentially communicate a misleading message to consumers.”

AT&T also came after Verizon for saying that “people from midtown Manhattan to downtown Denver can experience what your 5G can deliver,” when in reality, Verizon’s fast 5G coverage is only available in certain parts of 30 U.S. cities. While AT&T and T-Mobile were slowly and ambiguously building their 5G networks, Verizon has been focused on delivering 5G coverage to super-concentrated areas like stadiums and airports (not really sure why), when in reality, Verizon’s 5G only has about 3% coverage in some of those areas they claim to serve.

NAD drew attention to the fact Verizon has been saying its 5G performance would be available everywhere the ads are shown and then placing obscure and hard to read disclaimers in its advertising.

“While the challenged advertising communicates the accurate message that Verizon is building its 5G network,” said NAD, “the commercials simultaneously tout the current performance of the network, ultimately conveying the net impression that Verizon’s ‘ultrafast’ 5G network is widely available in cities across the country and, where it has already been launched, is broadly and readily accessible to consumers.”

Ultimately, Verizon has agreed to drop certain claims per NAD’s request, though “it does not agree with all aspects of NAD’s decision.” According to NAD, Verizon will no longer claim that its 5G is widely accessible throughout the country. It will also stop implying that the speeds referenced in the TV commercials are typical of consumers.

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