media logos

Alltel free to continue showing ads

As we learned last week, Verizon sued Alltel for false advertising. It was over one of those My Circle advertisements, where the Big Four carriers are depicted as nerdlings, while the Alltel dude is buff and manly and stuff. Apparently, in one of the commercials, they not-so-subtly imply that in order to change your rate plan mid-contract with Verizon, you have to extend your contract. Not so, or at least not so since October of 2007. Verizon sued over this matter, but a U.S. District Judge in Richmond, Va. denied the matter.

Honestly, I can’t understand this. Alltel falsely represented Verizon in said commercial. No one at the office has seen the commercial recently, so we can’t vouch for Alltel reps who say that it has been edited for accuracy.

To me, this illustrates what’s wrong with advertising. In order to make a buck, people will go to great lengths, even if it means misrepresenting their opponent. Sure, that might be a sound strategy, but if you’re caught, you should have to pay a penalty. Alltel was sneaky enough to keep that ad around even after Verizon changed its policy, yet no action is being taken against them.

It’s sometimes tough to champion the cause of a superpower like Verizon. But in these instances, the little guys are dealing cheap shots and getting away with it. Then again, do you know anyone who was swayed by this line of Alltel ads? Heck, I live in the Northeast, and you can’t even get Alltel around here! Yet, we see ads for them all the time.

Maybe that’s the issue. That so few people were actually affected by this that it didn’t really matter. So on one hand you can pat Alltel on the back for being David and dealing an underhanded blow to Goliath. But on the other hand, you can say, “Hey, Goliath might be bad in some regards, but not in those regards. Buzz off, David.”

[RCR Wireless News]