The battle continues in the Verizon/AT&T legal dispute over Big Red's "There's a Map for That" advertising campaign. We heard from AT&T's consumer response to the campaign a few days ago through their website (link):
To Our Customers: As the U.S. market leader in wireless data service, we typically don't respond to competitors' advertising. However, some recent ads from Verizon are so blatantly false and misleading, that we want to set the record straight about AT&T's wireless data coverage.
The key facts are: AT&T's wireless data coverage reaches 303 million people – or 97% of the U.S. population,where they live and work. Our data coverage consists of 3 different types of technology. 3G: 233 million people or 75% of the population are covered by AT&T's 3G network, the nation's fastest. EDGE: 301 million people or more than 96% of the population are covered by EDGE. With both 3G and EDGE coverage, customers can access the Internet, send e-mail, surf the Web, stream music, download videos, send photos, text, talk and more. The only difference – with some data applications, 3G is faster than EDGE. GPRS: Covers 303 million people, allowing you to talk, text, e-mail and access basic websites optimized for wireless.
AT&T is the #1 network for smartphones, with twice the number of smartphone customers than Verizon, our closest competitor. Some of the reasons include:
In a response to AT&T's response (to Verizon's initial claim), Verizon starts out with quite the bold statement:
"AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon's "There's A Map For That" advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon's ads are true and the truth hurts."
The rest of the response consists of various claims, responses to their television commercials, and the like. But another quote worth considering comes on page 28 of the brief:
"AT&T does not — and cannot — deny that all five of Verizon’s ads convey an express message that is literally true. The coverage maps accurately reflect the 3G networks of each company and are prominently and accurately labeled as such. The map for Verizon shows only its 3G coverage, with blank spaces where it has no 3G coverage, just as the map for AT&T shows blank spaces where AT&T has no 3G coverage, even though both companies may have other, non-3G coverage in those areas."
Admittedly, the whole ordeal is a slippery slope. The fact of the matter is that Verizon isn't lying when they compare their 3G coverage to AT&T's. But as evidence that the advertising campaign is working, I received a call from a family member a few days back. In our conversation, she mentioned the commercials, commenting that "those ads are hilarious" and asking me "is AT&T's service really that bad?" To that note, I can see where consumers could be misled into believing that AT&T doesn't provide service outside of the blue areas shown in the picture above.
Verizon's full response (PDF, 53 pages) can be found here. What do you think? Is Verizon correct in advertising the 3G coverage areas, or should EDGE/1xRTT comparisons be added into the equation?
Via: Engadget Mobile