November 17, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Ouch! That’s all I could say when I started reading Verizon’s response to the AT&T lawsuit that seeks to block Verizon’s “There’s a Map for That” advertisements. AT&T alleges that the ads are misleading, but in its court filings in response to the lawsuit, Verizon had this to say:
“AT&T (T) did not file this lawsuit because Verizon’s ‘There’s A Map For That’ advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon’s ads are true and the truth hurts.”
Verizon continues for 44 pages ridiculing the network on a point-by-point basis. A major Verizon contention is that while AT&T tries to bill itself as “The nation’s fastest 3G network,” the reality is they have not invested enough to compete with Big Red’s network reliability, coverage, and speed. (That’s a contention backed up by impartial parties). So their argument boils down to this: If AT&T wants to advertise something that’s not true (them being the fastest), they shouldn’t be allowed to block Verizon from advertising something that is true (their 3G coverage far outpaces AT&T).
The document goes on to say:
Remarkably, AT&T admits that the 3G coverage maps – the one thing common to all five ads – are accurate and that the ads’ express statement that Verizon has “5X More 3G Coverage” than AT&T is true. Nonetheless, AT&T asserts that Verizon’s ads about 3G coverage are “false and misleading” because they allegedly imply a message that confuses consumers regarding AT&T’s non-3G coverage.
AT&T claims that the advertisements are misleading; Verizon says that the real issue lies with AT&T’s failure to upgrade its 3G network in anticipation of smartphone adoption. Even if AT&T is granted a TRO to prevent the ads from being shown, this entire ordeal is going to be very embarrassing for AT&T.