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AT&T Fuming Over Verizon Ads

by Travis Harvey | November 11, 2009November 11, 2009 11:36 am PDT

verizonvsattSome of the biggest tech news this last week has been primarily centered around Verizon’s advertising tactics. The iDon’t adds attacking the iPhone to the more recent jabs at AT&T’s spotty 3G network.  As many of you have probably heard, AT&T has filed suit against Verizon for the “There’s a Map for That” ads.  Do they actually have an argument?

AT&T’s says the maps are misleading.  Verizon’s map show’s their 3G coverage blanketing the country in red.  Because Verizon’s entire network is 3G, any gaps in their coverage map are actual gaps in their network.  AT&T alleges that average consumers will think there is no AT&T service in areas not covered in blue.  Verizon doesn’t show the coverage area of AT&T’s EDGE network that allows devices to function on its slower network outside the 3G coverage.

In fact, the very first ad Verizon put out, displayed the words “Out of Touch”, signaling to consumers that they would not have service outside the coverage that was shown.  Verizon removed the words “out of touch” and replaced them with “Voice & Data services available outside G coverage areas” at the end of the ad.  AT&T insists that consumers are still being led to believe they cannot use their devices in the largest portions of the U.S.

To be fair, Verizon clearly notes that these maps represent 3G coverage.  Does the average consumer know the difference between 2G and 3G?  Probably not.  That seems to be AT&T’s problem with the map.  Had Verizon indicated a light blue to represent AT&T’s last generation network coverage, this lawsuit probably would have been avoided.  Do you think Verizon is going to be ordered to stop these commercials from being circulated?  Is it fair for Verizon to leave out huge areas of coverage where AT&T has a network?  Let us know how you feel.