T-Mobile and AT&T haven’t been total strangers after the two failed to get a merger proposal approved by the government. The two have been at it ever since, with the bitter-sweet breakup making for entertaining advertorial spats. As fun as all of that has been, someone has stepped in to chastise T-Mobile for being a bit too careless with their advertising.
The National Advertising Division — a fork of the Better Business Bureau which helps to ensure fair and accurate advertising practices — has warned T-Mobile to modify their advertising to be more clear. To be specific, the NAD says T-Mobile’s claims that their 4G network is 50% faster than AT&T’s is too misleading, and suggests they make it clear that T-Mobile is referring to the performance of each respective carrier’s HSPA+ network (and not the 4G LTE network AT&T is currently impressing us with).
The NAD also wants T-Mobile to stop saying they use more advanced network technology than all the others, though this is something that can be seen as subjective and probably isn’t of too much concern. T-Mobile CEO John Legere says not to worry, as the changes suggested by the NAD aren’t significant enough to change their overall “bold” marketing tone. It’s the latest look for T-Mobile, a carrier which was once seen as soft (the magenta doesn’t help) but is now standing up to the big guys.
It’s worth noting that the NAD is not a regulatory body, and as such does not have any direct authority to force T-Mobile to make any changes to their marketing. Still, their long-standing history and connection to the Better Business Bureau are to be respected, and not many companies will want to be on the wrong side of their naughty or nice list. We imagine T-Mobile will take heed to the NAD’s words, but don’t expect the overall brash, new attitude to be dialed down anytime soon.