Comcast warned to stop airing ads calling DirecTV's tech 'old'

Still from Comcast's "Get Faster" spot that bashes DirecTV's tech (Credit: Comcast)

After checking Comcast on allegedly bogus claims targeting Verizon last month, the National Advertising Bureau has criticized the top cable company for ads taking down DirecTV.

In fact, the independent industry watchdog, which is backed by the Better Business Bureau, investigated both Comcast and Dish Network for superiority claims made relative to DirecTV. 

Specifically, the bureau looked at a rather funny Comcast TV spot, titled “Get Faster,” which features satellite-dish cradling dancers grooving to a parody of a 1985 Starship hit, singing “We built this thingy, we built this thingy on tech that’s old…”

The commercial closes with a voiceover saying that consumers can “get four times more TV shows and movies on demand with XFinity.”

Comcast’s “Reruns” commercial, meanwhile, reprises the 1980s Wang Chung song, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” changing the lyrics to “Everybody is bored tonight. They’re watching reruns tonight.”

“NAD determined that the “Get Faster” spot conveyed the message that DirecTV is built on old technology and doesn’t have a voice search feature comparable to Comcast’s,” the org said in a statement. “NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claim that DirecTV is built on ‘tech that’s old’ and, in future advertising, avoid conveying the unsupported message that DirecTV does not offer voice-controlled search capability.”

As for the “Reruns” spot, the NAD determined that Comcast’s claim that it has four times as much on-demand programming is too convoluted to effectively prove. 

In a statement, Comcast said it “accepts NAD’s decision … and will take NAD’s recommendations into account in developing future advertisements.”

For more:
- read this NAD press release
- read this Consumerist story

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