Verizon Wireless responded today to a lawsuit filed by AT&T earlier this month that accused Verizon's "There's a map for that" marketing campaign of misleading consumers about AT&T's 3G coverage in the United States.
In a nutshell, Verizon said AT&T's request to have the ads pulled is without merit. From the court filing (PDF):
AT&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... 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.
In the court filing, Verizon outlines the reasons that AT&T's arguments are without merit. They include:
- Because the ads are truthful, AT&T is attacking them under faulty theories, including a claim that they are misleading. But Verizon says there's no real evidence - aside from an AT&T commissioned survey - that proves that consumers are misled by the ad.
- There is no emergency that would require the court to issue an immediate restraining order - as AT&T has requested - without giving Verizon the opportunity to conduct its own research and present evidence to prove that consumers are not being misled.
- The harm to Verizon and the public, in general, caused by pulling the ads is greater than any alleged harm being inflicted on AT&T.
Those are all fine-and-dandy arguments about why the courts should deny AT&T's motion but the main reason comes back to the headline statement: The ads are true. Period. But regular readers already know my thoughts on this AT&T-Verizon back-and-forth. Instead, I offer one more excerpt from Verizon's filing that I think sums it up best:
AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon’s side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T’s confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business, and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly. AT&T may not like the message that the ads send, but this Court should reject its efforts to silence the messenger.
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Related coverage: Memo to AT&T: When you're in a hole, stop digging