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AT&T uses Luke Wilson in a counterattack on Verizon's "Anti-AT&T" commercials

A federal judge handed AT&T a lump of Christmas coal, denying the company's pleas for an injunction to take Verizon's commercials mocking AT&T's network off the air.
There will be no injunction in AT&T's stocking this Christmas

Negative advertising can be a tremendously effective tool, just ask Microsoft.  While people may by now be getting tired of Apple's attack commercials against PCs, for several years they served as an effective tool in building Apple's market share back to relevance and raising the company's brand image. 

However, what's especially lethal is when you can create a negative advertising campaign that's actually true.  That's what Verizon did when it pounced on Apple's partner AT&T over the company's poor 3G coverage.  With AT&T's partner Apple recently admitting that the carrier dropped as many as 30 percent of its calls in some regions, on average, Verizon, the nation's largest carrier, pounced on its second place competitor airing a series of commercials mocking it.

AT&T took a gamble and took Verizon to court over its new "There's a map for that" commercials.  It argued that TV viewers by and large weren't smart enough to distinguish from 3G coverage maps and total coverage maps, despite the Verizon commercial providing textual and verbal indications that the maps were representative of 3G coverage.  Thus AT&T argued the commercials would mislead customers into thinking AT&T had no coverage in much of the country when it really only had no 3G coverage.

The company upped the ante when it asked for an injunction on Verizon's latest "Island of Misfit Toys" commercials, expanding the case in federal court.  However, Verizon refused to back down from its attacks, commenting in court filings "the truth hurts."

Now AT&T's Christmas wish to take its competitor's ads off the air has been met with disappointment.  U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Batten Sr. handed the telecom a lump of coal, denying their request for an injunction, commenting that while Verizon's commercials were "sneaky" they weren't misleading. 

Judge Batten Sr. commented that people might "misunderstand" the commercials, "but that doesn’t mean they’re misleading."  He even had both sides laughing when he elaborated, "Most people who are watching TV are semi-catatonic.  They’re not fully alive."

The loss is no laughing matter for AT&T, though, as it faces a worse hit to its already marred brand image, thanks to the heightened publicity the suit has given the commercials.  Recent brand studies showed that the commercials seemed to be working with Verizon's brand perception rising over the past several weeks, and AT&T's brand image plummeting.

AT&T will have one final chance to try to silence Verizon, at a second hearing on December 16.  However, with Verizon crying that AT&T is trying to silence its right to free speech and AT&T unable to directly challenge the commercials' accuracy, AT&T's hopes of a last-minute Christmas surprise seem to be growing increasingly dim.

In other news, AT&T has finally decided to combat Verizon's commercials directly with a commercial of their own. The company has employed Luke Wilson to jab Verizon on such issues as simultaneous talking/web surfing and the company's lack of “popular smartphones”. You can view the commercial here.



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RE: Verizon should sue AT&T
By NesuD on 11/19/2009 6:45:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Have you used one? Thought not. Compare it to an iPhone and you'll see how clumsy the Driod really is. At least you can fucking figure out the iPhone


I have and I had no trouble figuring it out. In fact I thought it to be a bit more intuitive than the iPhone. Only part that felt clumsy to me was the slide out keyboard. I don't really care for the buttons on it. They are to flat and more dificult to distinguish by touch but other than that I thing it is an outstanding device. Apple should be worried.


RE: Verizon should sue AT&T
By Bateluer on 11/19/2009 8:20:57 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The Moto Droid is an outstanding phone, easily the best on the market right now.

The keyboard slide, while well constructed and very sturdy, is still flat and difficult to type on. Motorola should address this is future versions of the Droid, taking a queue from LG's Env line of phones.

Also, they need to drop the Droid branding so they don't have to piss money away to LucasFilms in royalty payments.


RE: Verizon should sue AT&T
By mcnabney on 11/19/2009 12:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
The Droid branding is likely very inexpensive since they aren't using the Star Wars brands. But they still have to acknowledge the owner of the brand on adds. That is why R2D2 didn't appear in the ads and they used an obviously non-Star Wars robotics when marketing.


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