The advertising industry's self-regulatory division has urged Verizon to stop claiming that it has America's first 5G network, but Verizon claims that its "first to 5G" commercials are not misleading and is appealing the decision.
The National Advertising Division (NAD), an investigative unit managed by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, announced its recommendation to Verizon last week. The NAD investigated after a challenge lodged by AT&T, which has been misleading customers itself by renaming large portions of its 4G network to "5G E." But AT&T's challenge of Verizon's 5G ads was "the first case involving advertising for 5G" to come before the self-regulatory body, the NAD said.
Specifically, AT&T challenged three Verizon commercials that included claims that Verizon is "first to 5G" and that it has launched America's "only 5G ultra wideband network." While "ultra wideband" does refer to real radio technology, it's more of a marketing term when Verizon uses it in the context of 5G. Verizon doesn't even always use that qualifier to describe its future 5G service—at one point, this commercial says Verizon is "building America's first 5G network" without the ultra wideband language.