Fans of Rob Lowe’s hilarious DirecTV ad campaign, featuring lesser Lowe alter-egos, prepare to be disappointed — they are no longer running. Is it all because Comcast complained about them? Not exactly.
The Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division ruled on a complaint filed by Comcast saying DirecTV should discontinue certain claims the commercials make that the company cannot substantiate. The claims cited in the complaint include whether DirecTV has better signal reliability, sound performance, more prompt installation and more sports programing than cable, as the commercials advertise.
The NAD agrees with Comcast that DirecTV cannot substantiate its claims that it has better picture or sound quality, shorter customer service wait time, or more sports programming and has told DirecTV to stop running the ads.
DirecTV maintains that the ads cannot possibly be taken seriously by consumers. “The various Rob Lowe advertisements are 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 company says in a statement.
But it sounds like a moot point because apparently DirecTV was going to stop running the Lowe ads anyway.
A rep for the satellite company tells Variety that the ads were set to end after the first quarter of 2015. “We
wanted to launch our new campaign with Hannah Davis in the (NCAA men’s
basketball) Final Four,” senior vice president of marketing Jon Gieselman says in a statement. “We always reserve the right to bring
back the Rob Lowe campaign, either in its current form or with new
spots; it has been extremely successful for the brand.”
So perhaps the Lowe commercials will appear again one day, especially since the NAD is an arbiter, which means its decisions are not legally binding unless the parties agreed to binding arbitration.