AT&T and Verizon Wireless are set for a courtroom showdown next Wednesday over the Verizon ads comparing network coverage between the two companies which its chief rival says are false and misleading.
The outcome of the Nov. 18 hearing in Atlanta federal court will determine whether Verizon has to immediately pull the pervasive campaign which use side-by-side U.S. maps to show Verizon has five times more 3G coverage than AT&T.
In their escalating spat, AT&T this week filed an amended complaint to include Verizon's new trio of holiday-themed ads bashing its network in its prior lawsuit over the company's "There's a Map for That" commercial.
The Verizon ads have clearly gotten under AT&T's skin. But instead of pouring resources into a legal against Verizon, with an uncertain outcome, why doesn't AT&T try to come up with its own cheeky ads to counter Verizon's?
Touting itself as the nation's "fastest 3G network" in current ads only invites snickers in light of its well-publicized problems handling the data traffic demand from the iPhone. AT&T should be playing to its strength, which is the iPhone. The problem is that its network undercuts that advantage, making it harder to gear advertising to the Apple device.
Verizon ingeniously exploited that issue in its new "Island of Misfit Toys" parody ad, depicting the forlorn iPhone as a victim of AT&T's poor 3G coverage, as useful as a Charlie-In-The-Box. AT&T doesn't add to the gravity of its legal claims either by describing the commercial in some detail in its amended complaint.
"While AT&T is deadly serious about this accusation, the fact that it must make it by referencing creatures like the Abominable Snow Monster and a pink spotted elephant makes it,
well, hysterical," In its hearing for a temporary restraining order to halt the Verizon ads, AT&T has been given permission to bring audiovisual equipment into the courtroom, presumably
to show the Verizon commercials in question. But if the judge breaks out laughing during the "Misfit Toys" spot, that strategy may back fire.
In its hearing for a temporary restraining order to halt the Verizon ads, AT&T has been given permission to bring audiovisual equipment into the courtroom, presumably to show the Verizon commercials in question. But if the judge breaks out laughing during the "Misfit Toys" spot, that strategy may back fire.