AT&T, Verizon fight over 3G coverage ads goes to court

MacMall 96 Hour Apple Sale“A federal court Wednesday will consider the fate of a Verizon ad campaign that features side-by-side wireless coverage maps showing it has five times more 3G coverage than AT&T,” Leslie Cauley reports for USA Today.

“AT&T isn’t contesting the accuracy of Verizon’s claim, but says the ads are misleading… AT&T wants the court, which will hear arguments today, to force Verizon to pull the five ads,” Cauley reports.

“U.S. District Court in Atlanta will decide the question… AT&T’s main beef is with the white areas of Verizon’s coverage maps, which denote no 3G coverage. AT&T’s map is awash in white; Verizon’s has almost none. AT&T, in its lawsuit, says consumers may think the white space means AT&T offers no coverage at all in those areas,” Cauley reports.

Full article here.

24 Comments

  1. The ad clearly states 3G coverage so the ad is not misleading anyone. I don’t think AT&T;will win. At the same time it is easy to think outside of type of network compared to any network coverage. This should be interesting

  2. I could see how people who aren’t that into tech might not pick up on the fact that it’s talking solely about 3G coverage.

    Case in point:
    I was having dinner at my Mom’s house and when she saw the Verizon commercial she said to her husband, “Looks like we won’t be able to call anybody in between Colorado and California on our trip!”

    They both have iPhone 3GS.

  3. The ads are definitely misleading.

    Tiny, difficult-to-read disclaimers about 3G coverage aside, the on-screen actors in several of the ads “shake” their iPhones and act frustrated as if they’re trying to get a signal… As if they have no network connection at all. THAT is clearly misleading.

    iPhoner’s anecdote of how average non-technical people (read “normal people”) have interpreted the ads is a perfect example of how the ads ARE misleading.

  4. ATT should have a commerical with a map that shows GSM coverage.

    There is a map for that: “ATT GSM 3G compared to Verzion’s. A hundred percent greater coverage with talk and data use at the same time. Well, let us be fair- Verzion has no GSM yet and the existing EVDO is only talk or data- not both. Verizon- zero square miles plus 1.4 Mbps compared to (miles) square miles talk and surf with a 3.6 Mbp 3G service at the same time.”

    That map should be as white as a blinding blizzard. LOL.

  5. Tiny and difficult to read disclaimers? Lol, I don’t think so.

    I suppose you’ll say the voice over which also explicitly mentions “3G coverage” is hard to hear?

    This case will get thrown out on its ass. The whole affair will only serve to further embarrass ATT, as if the highly successful ad campaign targeting their fledgling 3G network wasn’t painful enough already.

    I expect MDN to post about the outcome so I may gloat that I was (once again) right from the very beginning.

  6. Yeah, 3 seconds of tiny print, buried in the second sentence is “clearly”! Of course, it paints Verizon in the best light and AT&T;in the worst, that’s what advertisers do. Didn’t anyone watch MadMen?

    If fine print is so “clear” has anyone noticed that the only cellphone ad that isn’t Screen Images Simulated is the iPhone’s? All other cellphone ads use simulated images, which is why they look so creepy. The thing is, the disclaimer is only onscreen for what seems like 3 seconds, hardly as “clear” as you would think.

  7. ATT should stop wasting money on a pointless lawsuit, and divert those funds into increasing speed and reliability in my area..

    much like the Apple suit the commercials will be off the air long before the outcome of this suit is determined

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