updated 11:30 pm EST, Mon November 16, 2009
iPhone carrier works to ban 3G maps from TV ads
Verizon has filed a response to AT&T's lawsuit which had sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ban the "there's a map for that" ads critical of the latter carrier's 3G coverage. Verizon defends its ad campaign, claiming the coverage maps are accurate and clearly labeled as 3G networks. AT&T argues that the ads mislead customers to believe the comparison includes 2G coverage.
The recent Verizon filing points out that AT&T has already admitted the 3G coverage maps are accurate and the "5X More 3G Coverage" statement is true. "AT&T now is attempting to silence Verizon's ads that include maps graphically depicting the geographic reach of AT&T's 3G network as compared to Verizon's own 3G network because AT&T does not like the truthful picture painted by that comparison," the filing reads.
The iPhone carrier's survey is accused of being "riddled with errors," including the group of consumers with "no interest in or knowledge of 3G services." The company cites a declaration from Professor Joel Cohen, reportedly a marketing and survey expert, who also concluded the survey is "fatally flawed ... in virtually every respect."
"This Court should see AT&T's TRO effort to gain 'emergency relief' for what it is: an attempt on short notice and without opportunity for discovery or deliberation to stop Verizon's accurate comparative advertising campaign to gain a tactical advantage during the critical holiday shopping season," the carrier's lawyers argue.
Verizon claims the TRO request was submitted because the ads "confirm what the marketplace has known for months." AT&T is said to have lacked adequate investment in 3G expansion to accommodate smartphone usage, and the "usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly." [via Engadget]