DirecTV told to pull ‘outlandish’ Rob Lowe commercials after Comcast complaint

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Satellite provider DirecTV was asked to discontinue the popular ad campaign featuring actor Rob Lowe and his often awkward and creepy alter-egos, according to a report.

The Council of Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division, ruling on a complaint by cable service provider Comcast, said DirecTV should end certain claims made in the Lowe ads, according to Variety. Certain claims under scrutiny included: “With DirecTV you get 99 percent signal reliability” and that customers would get the “best picture quality and sound” with the provider.

But Variety notes the “dispute appears largely academic,” because DirecTV said it has already ended that campaign. Its new campaign features Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Hannah Davis.

Nevertheless DirecTV plans to appeal the National Advertising Division’s (NAD) ruling, Variety reports. The company argued the Lowe advertisements were “so outlandish and exaggerated that no reasonable consumer would believe that the statements being made by the alter-ego characters are comparative or need to be substantiated.”

The ruling however said that “humor and hyperbole do not relieve an advertiser of the obligation to support messages that their advertisements might reasonably convey — especially if the advertising disparages a competitor’s product,” Variety reported.

The NAD also said the parts at the end, when Lowe would often say something to the effect of, “Don’t be like this me,” provided a “comparative and unsupported superiority message.”

DirecTV had previously been criticized by another group for its Lowe spot in which his alter-ego had trouble urinating in public. According to a report DirecTV was asked to remove the spot by the International Paruresis (shy bladder) Association.”

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5 comments

  • Kaggie

    I stop what I am doing to watch them. I love them and look forward to the next new one. It amazed me that Direct TV would bow down to this press but allow the Bill Maher show to continue. Now, he is offensive and should be removed from their line up.

  • carol

    Kentucky needs to pull their stupid “scare tactic smoking ads” and concentrate on their real problems; babies being born drug addicted. They need to show what the babies go through after birth ( ie., withdrawals, hours of screaming and pain, having to take drugs themselves etc), and during development out side the wound, growing up with possible disabilities, mental retardation and delays . That would be a smarter choice for tax dollars. Ya think?