Verizon's "There's a Map for That" Ads Draw AT&T Lawsuit

Verizon has pulled no punches against AT&T and the iPhone of late. In addition to the "Droid Does" ad which has garnered rave reviews, they've also done the "There's a Map for That" ad which points at the lack of 3G support nationwide on AT&T. However, AT&T feels that ad is misleading, and has sued.

The "There's a Map For That" obviously mocks Apple's "There's an App For That" iPhone slogan, but really aims at noting the coverage differences between the two carriers. The ad makes its point quite graphically, and therein is AT&T's issue.

Verizon's ad puts up comparative maps showing 3G coverage for AT&T vs. Verizon. While sad enough for AT&T when taken in that context, the iPhone's carrier believes that consumers who see the ad may believe that the maps represent coverage period, not just 3G coverage.

Now, while those who pay close attention to the current version of the ad will note that the ad superimposes "Voice and data service available outside 3G coverage area" on the screen, who really pays that much attention to an ad?  In fact, the first version said AT&T users were "out of touch" and was changed after an initial complaint.

Despite the change, however, AT&T, citing in the lawsuit (.PDF) a survey it ran, notes that 53% of consumers (interviewed at a mall) interpreted the ad to mean that there was no AT&T coverage at all in any of the areas of the map that were not in blue.

Realistically, the point that there is a potential for confusion is a valid one.  Even given that, however, it's a sad thing to look at the AT&T map and realize just how poor its 3G coverage is.  Perhaps AT&T needs to work more on expanding that coverage, and less on excuses and lawsuits.

Watch one of the ads below (there has been more than one broadcast):