T-Mobile draws complaints from advertising group over 'flawed' claims about AT&T

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: September 17, 2013

T-Mobile logo CES

Last month we saw T-Mobile file a lawsuit against AT&T's prepaid subsidiary Aio Wireless over the color of its logo, claiming that it was infringing upon T-Mobile's magenta trademark. Now it looks like the tables have turned a bit, as T-Mobile has caught some flak from the National Advertising Division, a group that monitors advertising on behalf of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, over some of its recent advertisements directed at AT&T.

The NAD has taken issue with some of the claims that T-Mobile makes about AT&T's network in its ads, including one that says that T-Mobile's offers 50 percent more bandwidth than AT&T. The NAD described that claim as "flawed" because it compares T-Mobile and AT&T's HSPA networks and ignores AT&T's 4G LTE coverage. The agency went on to say that there's not enough evidence to show that AT&T's combined HSPA and LTE networks are slower and more congested than T-Mobile's service.

In addition to its complaint about T-Mobile's bandwidth claim, the NAD has asked that T-Mo stop claiming that it has the "most advanced technology" and "faster 4G service" in its ads, and also that it cease using coverage maps in its claims about its coverage.

T-Mobile doesn't seem terribly concerned about the NAD's complaints, saying that while it'll take the organization's recommendations under consideration, it feels that its arguments are "very minor." T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert has told CNET that the complaints are a "validation" of his company's efforts and said that the NAD's findings won't cause any major changes in T-Mobile's marketing. T-Mobile CEO John Legere echoed those statements to TmoNews, adding that the carrier will continue to advertise its coverage, call clarity and no contract plans.

The NAD appears to have a number of issues with T-Mobile's advertisements that involve AT&T, but so far it appears as though T-Mobile isn't worried about the groups findings. T-Mobile has become quite a bit feistier ever since John Legere took over as CEO, directly calling out its competition on a regular basis and at one point describing AT&T's New York City network as "crap."

Taking that new attitude into consideration, it's no surprise that T-Mo isn't bothered by the NAD's complaints. Now we'll just have to wait and see if the carrier makes any changes at all to its ads or if it just keeps trucking along as it has been.

Via CNET, TmoNews