ATandT Wants Verizon to Yank iPhone-As-Misfit-Toy Ad
AT&T has asked a federal court in Atlanta to force
Verizon Wireless to pull a series of ads immediately, according to reporting
from USA Today. Verizon responded by
standing by its ads. "What we are saying doesn't change,"
spokesperson Jim Gerace told the paper.
ad named in the complaint is the holiday-timed play on the Island of Misfit
Toys - home to Charlie in the Box, and other not-quite-successful
playthings. While a spotted elephant exclaims that AT&T's iPhone can
download apps and browse the Web, the toys quickly commiserate once the
iPhone reveals its sorry coverage map.
In the original suit, filed on Nov. 3, AT&T said that
the comparisons were misleading, which could lead to considerable loss of
market share. "Verizon
has stepped over the line of legitimate comparative advertising,"
AT&T said in the suit, according to reporting from Reuters.
"We are entering into the critical [holiday] quarter for the industry. If customers think they can't make calls in the vast majority of the country ... that could do us irreparable harm," AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel told USA Today.
from BrandIndex, a service of YouGov, has shown that the ads are in fact
affecting public perception. The service measures consumers' brand
perceptions on a daily basis, and says that since Verizon launched its Motorola
Droid campaign on Oct. 19, consumer ratings of AT&T have dropped, while
Verizon's have risen.
iPhone customers have complained about dropped calls and slow service, Ted
Marzilli, managing director of BrandIndex, explained that customers get a sense
of their satisfaction level in the first few weeks of using a product, but a
good ad campaign can nonetheless make them feel better or worse about the
"You might have an iPhone and be loving life, but then
you see these ads and it potentially has an impact on your satisfaction
level," Marzilli told eWEEK.
While AT&T calls the 3G coverage maps misleading - and that customers may think there's no coverage in areas where AT&T offers 2.5G, instead of 3G speeds - it doesn't argue that they're accurate. Nonetheless, reports USA Today, the carrier will not disclose exactly what percent of its network is covered by its 3G network.