AT&T and Verizon Ads Duel on Airwaves and in Court.

Posted by truecreek on November 25, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

This is turning into quite the battle of the airwaves.  The mere fact that the court declined to order Verizon to pull the ads means more to come, and quickly.

By Peter Svensson

NEW YORK (AP) – What would the holidays be without bickering between siblings? AT&T and Verizon are swamping TV with ads attacking facets of each other’s wireless networks. While the ads stick fairly close to the truth, there’s a lot they don’t say.

AT&T Inc. has been running ads with actor Luke Wilson checking off points in AT&T’s favor over Verizon Wireless. It’s the continuation of a spat that started a month ago, when Verizon started airing cheeky commercials that highlighted how its fast, third-generation (“3G”) network has wider coverage than AT&T’s 3G system.

Verizon’s ad used the slogan “There’s a map for that,” a play off Apple Inc.’s ads for the iPhone, which tout the diversity of third-party applications for the phone with the line “There’s an app for that.

AT&T sued Verizon Wireless over the “map” ads, not because the maps were incorrect, but because AT&T felt there was a danger that viewers could get the impression that AT&T had no coverage at all where it doesn’t have 3G. Last week, a judge declined to force Verizon to pull the ads.

AT&T and Verizon, two offspring of Ma Bell, are getting more aggressive in their marketing, though it’s not clear how much they are spending. Verizon and AT&T are both pulling away from their smaller rivals, so instead of competing with Sprint Nextel Corp. and T-Mobile USA, they’re increasingly focused on each other. Verizon Wireless has more subscribers than AT&T – 89 million versus 81.6 million. But AT&T added more wireless subscribers in the latest quarter – 2 million versus 1.2 million at Verizon, which is a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC of Britain.

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