AT&T filed a lawsuit this week against Verizon Wireless over its series of allegedly misleading ads carrying the tagline “There’s a map for that.”
In those ads, two different maps of the United States are presented side by side: One illustrating Verizon’s vast 3G wireless network, the other supposedly depicting AT&T’s weaker 3G coverage. Specifically, the AT&T map contains a large amount of white space — implying that there are large areas of the country where the company offers no 3G service.
That white space is the point of contention in AT&T’s suit. “We believe that Verizon’s ads are misleading,” said AT&T rep Mark Siegel. “The use of white space gives the impression that there is no coverage provided in those areas. That’s simply not true. That’s the problem we have.”
Siegel explained that AT&T’s 2.5G Edge network — which serves as a backup network for 3G subscribers –“virtually blankets the country,” and serves 296 million subscribers.
The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court of Atlanta, uses some dire language, claiming that Verizon’s ads pose a serious threat to AT&T’s business. It reads: “As a result of the misleading claim, AT&T is losing incalculable market share, invaluable goodwill that it has spent billions of dollars to develop among consumers, and the significant investment it has made in its wireless network.”