NAD Refers Puerto Rico Telephone Company Advertising to FTC After Advertiser Declines to Participate; Claims Challenged by AT&T

New York, NY – May 21, 2019 – The National Advertising Division has referred advertising claims made by Puerto Rico Telephone Company to the Federal Trade Commission for further review after the company declined to participate in a proceeding before NAD.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Claims made by Puerto Rico Telephone Company for its Claro Wireless Service were challenged by AT&T Services, Inc.  Claims at issue included:

  • “La Red Más Poderosa” — “Most Powerful Network”
  • “The best offer on the most powerful network.” “Everything Unlimited ● Internet 4.5G LTE without speed reductions ● Texts ● Long Distance ● Roaming ● Hot Spot ● Calls.”
  • The “only provider in Puerto Rico that can provide mobile telephony and broadband, landline telephony and broadband and landline video services through one island-wide network.”
  • “Switch to Claro and get your iPhone 6s or 6D Plus Free! On an unlimited everything plan for $29 per month Yes!!! #TheMostPowerfulNetwork.”
  • “Today is the day to order your new iPhone Xr with unlimited 4.5F LTE Internet without speed reductions on the Claro online store and you will get it at your house. It’s easy! #TheMostPowerfulNetwork.”

AT&T argued that Puerto Rico Telephone Company’s basis for its claims – that it is the only provider in Puerto Rico that can provide mobile telephony and broadband, landline telephony and broadband, and landline video services through one island network – is insufficient to support its unqualified superiority claim of technical superiority and technological leadership, or that it is the “most powerful” on some other measurable performance attribute.

The advertiser declined to participate in the NAD proceeding, citing the truthfulness of its advertising and arguing that NAD lacks jurisdiction to decide this matter because its advertising is not disseminated nationally or to a substantial portion of the United States.

In light of the advertiser’s decision against participating in the self-regulatory forum, pursuant to its procedures NAD has referred the advertising to the appropriate governmental agencies for possible enforcement action.

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.