The National Advertising Division has recommended AT&T’s DirecTV discontinue some advertising claims, including one that says the satellite TV service provides “worry-free” reliability.

DirecTV said it will appeal the findings to the National Advertising Review Board.

Charter Communications is the party that challenged four of DirecTV’s ad claims made in five print and internet advertisements, arguing that they were untrue and falsely implied DirecTV’s signal does not go out in the rain.

The claims challenged were:

  • “99% worry-free signal reliability”
  • “Will my signal go out? No! DirecTV’s high-powered satellites deliver 99% worry-free signal reliability so you can access the best entertainment.*”
    (* Based on a Nationwide Study of Representative Cities.)
  • “Let us help you clear up a few myths about DIRECTV … 2) ‘My signal will go out.’  Wrong. DIRECTV has 99% worry-free signal reliability so that you can access the best entertainment.”
  • “5 Myths Busted!  It’s time you knew the truth about AT&T! … 5) ‘My signal will go out.’  No problem, you’re covered.  With AT&T, you can get high-speed internet with over 99% reliability bundled with the 99% worry-free signal reliability of DIRECTV for entertainment you can count on.  Claim based on U-verse High Speed Internet service. DIRECTV availability based on a nationwide study of representative cities.”

DirecTV contended that its earlier claim of “99% signal reliability” had previously been reviewed by the agency and found to be supported, and so its “worry-free” claim was supported by the same signal strength data.

NAD, however, found that it was a different claim that conveyed a slightly different message, implying to consumers that the service is so reliable that they would not have to worry about losing their DirecTV service. AT&T did not provide evidence that the service met this reliability expectation. Charter, meanwhile, provided survey evidence that 20 percent of DirecTV customers named loss of service as the least appealing aspect of satellite service, and 62 percent indicated they had “lost service due to rain” within the last year.

NAD decided this was sufficient to show DirecTV’s service may not be “worry-free.” The agency noted that AT&T can still make its “99% signal reliability” claim.

NAD also recommended DirecTV stop using the following ad claims:

  • “Will my signal ever go out? No!”
  • “My signal will go out.  Wrong”
  • It is a “myth” that DirecTV’s signal will go out.