Rob Lowe is speaking out about the controversy over his hilarious DirecTV ads.
The series of commercials for the satellite company featured the actor portraying various alter-egos, but according to the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ National Advertising Division, they contain unsubstantiated claims of superiority and should be discontinued.
“Humor can be an effective and creative way for advertisers to highlight the differences between their products and their competitor’s,” the NAD acknowledged in its ruling.
However, the NAD added, “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.”
The bureau launched their investigation at the behest of Comcast, and concluded that some of the commercials made several false claims.
For instance, “Creepy” Rob Lowe’s insistence that the company has better signal reliability could not be backed up by facts. Nor could “Painfully Awkward” Rob Lowe’s assertion that DirecTV has shorter customer service wait times. Even “Far Less Attractive” Rob Lowe was found to be bending the truth when he suggested the company had better picture and sound quality.
If a company doesn’t comply with a NAD recommendation, the case can be referred to the Federal Trade Commission. DirectTV responded by saying that the commercial series was nearing the end of its run anyway, and new ads featuring model Hannah Davis are on the way.
Lowe himself chimed in on the ruling on Wednesday, Tweeting, “Recent events have underlined my belief that for something to be truly original, funny and subversive, there must also be fallout. #Life.”
The company is appealing the NAD ruling and in a statement to the Los Angeles Times said that it “continues to believe that the various Rob Lowe advertisements are so outlandish and exaggerated that no reasonable consumer would believe the statements being made by the alter-ego characters are comparative or need to be substantiated.”