AT&T to End '5G Evolution' Ads After WatchDog Group's Order

5g E Att Iphone

A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) recommended that AT&T discontinue its "5G Evolution" advertising claims.

The panel said consumers interpret "evolution" in the challenged claims as signifying that AT&T's technology has already evolved into 5G.

"The panel noted that the current prevalent technology in wireless is 4G LTE, and LTE stands for "evolution", the board said in a statement".

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T-Mobile US Inc. had successfully challenged AT&T's "5G Evolution" marketing with the National Advertising Division unit of BBB National Programs, prompting an appeal by AT&T.

Interestingly, the case against AT&T was initially brought up by T-Mobile, while Ma Bell pointed the finger at Verizon in the separate matter where the NAD reached a verdict last week that Big Red plans to appeal (in part).


The panel found that this language "will mislead reasonable consumers into believing that AT&T is offering a 5G network". Nevertheless, as a supporter of the self-regulatory process, it will comply with the NARB's decision.

Print, in-store and television ads take longer, but compliance is expected within a month or so. BBB National Programs is an independent nonprofit organization that focuses on industry and business self-regulation. If a good faith effort hasn't been made, then they would be referred to the appropriate regulatory authority.

While AT&T and other wireless carriers in the U.S. have now begun rolling true 5G wireless networks, AT&T in December 2018 began talking about a "5G Evolution" service that was already available in hundreds of markets, and placed a "5G E" icon on phones when they connected to the network.

However, despite attempts by AT&T's competitors to get it to play fair with its branding, AT&T stubbornly refused to stop promoting its fake 5G service. Now that real 5G is starting to roll out, AT&T's 5GE branding is perhaps even more confusing for consumers, and the NARB has finally told AT&T to knock it off.

AT&T's 5GE slogan has drawn a significant amount of criticism from carriers and consumers alike, with many saying the marketing term is misleading.

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