Having just run into its own problems with false advertising, Verizon Wireless is now suing competitor Alltel, claiming false advertising in its commercials. The ads, such as the one here, make fun of Verizon Wireless and other mobile operators for forcing people to extend their contracts whenever they make changes, and claim that one of Alltel’s advantage is the lack of such requirements.
Verizon Wireless doesn’t just claim that this is wrong, its spokesperson states: “Whatever merit this comparison may have to other carriers, in the case of Verizon Wireless, the supposed ‘advantage’ is pure fiction.” “Pure fiction” is a pretty strong claim, and it would be a lot stronger if it hadn’t been absolutely true until just a couple months ago. Verizon Wireless did, in fact, force people to extend contracts, and only stopped the practice back in October when Sprint got sued over doing the same thing. And, of course, the Alltel ads began running well before Verizon was pressured into making this change. So, while it’s technically accurate that these ads are false advertising now, it seems a bit excessive to describe them as “pure fiction,” when they were absolutely true until just a few months ago.