In the late 1980’s and early 90’s, rappers carried out some legendary wars of words between them, but the claims that were made by them in rap battles did not have to be verified. However, this is not the way things work in advertisements.
Any claim that is made in an advertisement should be verifiable. Unluckily, the advertisement world works in a system, where businesses can say anything they wish, forcing other businesses to file a complaint with the National Advertising Division (NAD).
Nevertheless, we should understand that the NAD is not a court and that the suggestions of NAD have no enforcement power. Still, when NAD makes a finding, businesses listen to it and that is what Comcast has said about the recent ruling of NAD.
NAD asked Comcast to stop their unsupported claims about DirecTV that lately appeared in television advertisements. As per the ads, DirecTV is built on outdated technology, and Comcast offers four times more movies and TV shows than that offered by DirecTV. They also claimed in the ads that the DirecTV users are watching reruns of programs.
The press release of NAD claims that in one of their advertisements, titled
“Reruns,” Comcast made use of the Wang Chung song of 1980, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” but changed the lyrics to make it “Everybody is bored tonight. They’re watching reruns tonight.” And at the cutaway, an actor states that: “Yeah, not us… We have X1 from XFINITY.”
At the close, a voiceover states that users can “get four times more TV shows and movies on demand with XFINITY.” NAD found that the “four times as much” claim was invalid, as the set top box from Comcast offers 44,072 TV shows and movies On Demand, whereas DirecTV offers 13,869.
It is true that Comcast has lot more content than DirecTV, but not four times. This is why, NAD asked Comcast to drop the claim. They also said that the claim that DirecTV users are watching reruns is “puffery and need not be substantiated.”
In reply to that, Comcast said that they “accept NAD’s decision and will take NAD’s recommendations into account in developing future advertisements.”