Verizon Sues Time Warner Over Misleading Ad… Has To Drop Its Own Misleading Ad
from the funny-how-that-works dept
Remember earlier this year when Verizon Wireless sued competitor Alltel Wireless for false advertising? That came right after the company had been fined for false advertising itself — and the suit basically ignored the fact that Alltel’s ad was accurate until Verizon Wireless (just a couple months earlier) had changed its policy. Now it looks like Verizon Wireless’ parent company is doing something similar. Broadband Reports points us to the news that Verizon is suing Time Warner Cable over an incredibly dopey ad that suggests in a very misleading manner that Verizon’s FiOS fiber optic offering was just catching up to Time Warner’s use of fiber (confusing fiber in the network with fiber to the home) and also suggesting that FiOS-TV requires a satellite dish (which is simply untrue — though, the company does offer satellite TV service for areas that can’t get FiOS yet). Still, it does seem a bit aggressive to sue over this.
And, this situation is made even more amusing by the fact that Verizon itself just got caught running misleading advertising. In this case, Verizon credits CNET “experts” with claiming that FiOS is “near-flawless,” which is taken entirely out of context. CNET’s article wasn’t a review, but about the service, and the context was: “This fierce competition reinforces how important it is for Verizon to offer a near-flawless TV experience.” In other words, CNET was saying that FiOS TV needs to be near-flawless to compete — not that it is. To its credit, Verizon admits that it was wrong in using the phrase in advertising, and won’t be using those ads after its initial run is done next month. It also claims that TWC’s ads are much more egregious, though I’m not sure that’s true. It’s quite easy for anyone investigating their options to understand that TWC’s claims are false. But it may be much more difficult to confirm whether or not CNET’s review really called FiOS “near flawless.” Either way, these are industries that have a long history of stretching the truth as far as it can go in advertising messages. It makes you wonder if anyone takes either of their commercials seriously.