Ad review panel tells AT&T to stop using 'misleading' 5G Evolution claims

article thumbnail

A National Advertising Review Board panel has encouraged AT&T to stop using its "misleading" 5G Evolution branding.

The carrier's 5G Evolution network, despite the name, is actually just an upgraded version of 4G LTE. In 2019, AT&T received some flack from rival carriers and consumers over the misleading moniker.

A year later, the NARB — a division of the Better Business Bureau National Programs — is recommending that AT&T stops using its "5G Evolution" and "5G Evolution, The First Step to 5G" claims.

Those advertising monikers were previously challenged by T-Mobile before the National Advertising Division (NAD), the investigative component of the advertising industry's self-regulatory systems and another part of BBB National Programs. When the NAD recommended that AT&T should stop using the claim, the carrier appealed.

The NARB panel said it has determined that the "5G Evolution" claims could mislead reasonable customers into believing that they're using a 5G network. The panel recommended the discontinuation of its use.

Largely, that's based on the fact that the "Evolution" portion of the claim isn't likely to alert consumers that they aren't using a 5G network.

"Thus, consumers may well interpret 'Evolution' in the challenged claims as signifying that AT&T's technology has already evolved into 5G," the NARB panel said.

The panel added that the addition of the "First Step in 5G" doesn't do much to "cure" its concerns.

AT&T said that it "respectfully disagrees" with the reasoning and ultimate decision reached by the panel. It stood by its advertising claim, but as a supporter of the industry's self-regulation process, said it would comply with the NARB's decision.

AppleInsider has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content.


Latest News