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.”