Charter gets flak from Better Business Bureau for funny Kevin Nealon ads aimed at DirecTV

The NAD found Charter's ad contained an "unsupported claim." Image: Charter

The Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division has checked Charter Communications for a series of ads ostensibly targeting AT&T’s DirecTV unit.

The NAD ruling is in response to a DirecTV complaint about a humorous 2015 TV commercial series, which featured former Saturday Night Live star Kevon Nealon as the buffoonish captain of an orbiting, anachronistic space vessel called “Satellite TV Headquarters.” (Editor’s note: The series, created by Pereira & O’Dell for Charter, is funny, any way you slice it.)

RELATED: Charter ad depicts satellite TV as aging space ship captained by Kevin Nealon

The NAD ruled that the series’ 30-second “Lever” ad included an “unsupported” claim that DirecTV customers “pay more for what [they] love to watch.” The NAD recommended the ad be discontinued. 

“Humor and hyperbole do not relieve an advertiser of its obligation to support messages that their advertisements might reasonably convey—especially when the advertising disparages a competitor’s product,” the NAD said in a statement

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The government agency, whose rulings are non-binding, did support Charter on other rulings.

The NAD said there’s evidence to support a claim made by Charter in the series’ “On Hold” spot, which said satellite TV bills can double after the promotional period expires. 

The NAD also ruled in favor of Charter in regard to another musical spot that was not part of the series called “Triple Play.”

For its part, Charter didn’t respond to FierceCable’s inquiry for comment. The NAD, however, said the cable operator accepted its recommendation—which is probably not a huge blow, since the campaign has already run its course.