AT&T asks federal court to force Verizon to pull ads with misleading coverage maps

New iPod touch 8GB, 32GB & 64GB“AT&T on Wednesday upped the ante in its legal spat with Verizon, accusing it in an amended complaint of twisting facts in a trio of holiday ads to make AT&T’s wireless network coverage look a lot worse than it is,” Leslie Cauley reports for USA Today. “AT&T on Wednesday night asked the federal court in Atlanta to force Verizon to pull the ads immediately.”

“Verizon spokesman Jim Gerace says it is holding firm: ‘What we are saying doesn’t change,'” Cauley reports.

“What Verizon has been saying is this: AT&T’s advanced ‘3G’ wireless coverage is paltry in comparison with Verizon’s. Its ad campaign, launched in October, features side-by-side coverage maps. The ads, which sparked AT&T’s initial lawsuit, say Verizon has five times more 3G coverage than AT&T,” Cauley reports. “AT&T doesn’t dispute the accuracy of the maps, but it says they are misleading. It says ‘white space’ in the maps, which denotes no 3G coverage, could be read to mean that AT&T has no coverage at all in those areas.”

Cauley reports, “In its own ads, AT&T claims to have the nation’s ‘fastest 3G’ network… [and the company] says it reaches 75% of the population with 3G.”

Full article here.

AT&T’s complaint in full is here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jack F.” for the heads up.]

24 Comments

  1. The problem with having the iPhone for Verizon, is that they will force to dumb down the iPhone. Take control of its development and wrestle the features that Apple wants to implement away from them. Until Verizon learns to treat Apple products with a nearly hands off approach, Apple will never let the iPhone on their network.

  2. If I was the judge I’d rule for ATT. You could give them the benefit of the doubt on the first ad but the holiday ads are clearly intended to falsely imply that you can not use data services outside of 3G coverage. “good luck browsing the web with that” …oh thats subtle NOT!

  3. Waauugh! Mean ol’ Verizon is point out our flaw! Waauuggh!

    The maps are accurate, they clearly state 3G coverage. The fact that the average cell phone user doesn’t know what 3G means isn’t the fault of the advertisers. Sorry, I don’t see where AT&T;has any room to stand on this.

  4. ATT is running scared. Those executives saw the new holiday versions of the “maps” theme and started pissing in their pants. They fear Verizon smells blood and might keep the ads fresh on the air all year round (which, if they’re smart, will be exactly what they do).

    By the time ATT could come up with a counter campaign, the damage has already been done. Plus it probably wouldn’t be nearly as clever as the Verizon ads. So you do the next best thing: run to the courts with sweat dripping from your brow.

  5. A lot of people thought ATT’s ‘more bars in more places’ was misleading… advertising is a slippery slope.

    and @Jubel, we of course know that Apple will in no way dumb down the iPhone to suit Verizon. Apple has the upper hand and v-cast would only appear on the iPhone as perhaps an app.

  6. “Hey Big Gummint, we hate it that you try to keep the net neutral. We’d love to charge the consumers more, just like we charge them extra for SMS. But hey, that bad Verizon is saying bad things about our 3G coverage. Help us!”

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.