Poor old Barney Fife. Sometimes he just gets himself so riled up over folks teasin’ him and laughing behind his back that he just goes off half-cocked, and more often then not does just the wrong blessed thing.
Once again, AT&T is sticking with their Deputy Barney role in response to the recent “There’s a Map for That…” ads from Verizon. The ads, parodies of the “There’s an App for that” ads for the iPhone, state that AT&T’s 3G network has far less coverage than Verizon’s. Whether that is strictly true or not I don’t know, but AT&T is not suing over the veracity of that statement. They also aren’t suing over the implication of poor service or anything to do strictly with their network or Verizon’s, to be honest.
AT&T are suing over the fact that they claim people don’t know what a 3G network is.
I mean it, you just couldn’t make this stuff up.
It goes like this….AT&T is apparently taking damage from the Verizon ads so they want them off the air as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to get an immediate restraining order from a judge, saying they cant be aired while the case is being heard. However, to do that they must convince a judge that the ads are “”disserving the public”.
Towards that end, AT&T says they took a poll in an unnamed mall (seriously) and according to them nearly one out of four people they asked thought the ads were saying that AT&T provided NO wireless coverage of any kind in most of the US, rather than that just their 3G coverage is poor. Basically AT&T are saying that it doesn’t matter that the maps have 3G clearly written on them, most people don’t get what 3G is so the ads are misleading. In the suit, AT&T gives no information about what questions they actually asked, how the survey was constructed, how many people were surveyed or where….you know, any of those little facts that could make such a poll relevant to the question.
I am hard pressed to think a judge will grant an injunction against the ads based on a “Peoples be STUPID” argument. The suit will certainly move forward, but I can’t see how the ads are disserving anyone but AT&T.
In fact, the entire lawsuit disserves AT&T since all it does is focus a great deal of new attention on the ads, giving Verizon massive amounts more publicity….absolutely free. It also makes AT&T seem vaguely pitiful and desperate. They have to sue Verizon to get them to airing the spots? To most people, that means that they must be accurate, or that AT&T has something to hide. After all, if they were false ads, AT&T could just air counter claims and fight it out with them on the merits. Instead they are saying that it isn’t what it looks like, the ads are unfair and shouldn’t be allowed…sounds like whining to me.
AT&T should take a lesson from their partner in crime, Apple. They have taken no notice of Verizon’s Droid ads targeting the iPhone. Steve Jobs just continues smiling serenely, above such sordid squabbling and unwilling to descend to the level of his inferiors, while he lets his fanboi legion of doom attack the ads.
Once again Apple is the cool, confidant Sheriff Andy while AT&T is poor Barney Fife, spluttering and squawking and calling his lawyers…making a fool of himself yet again.