T-Mobile in feud with AT&T over the Un-carrier's holiday video
You might recall the holiday video that T-Mobile released this year. Based on stop-action Claymation animated classics like Gumby, the video features a talking snowman who recites a story about Verizon and AT&T (the "abominable carriers," as they are characterized in the video) and how they only cared about taking silver and gold from the people of the world. Using a fog of taxes, fees, limits and restrictions, the two top stateside carriers ignored the needs and wants of their customers. At least, that's the story passed along by the Snowman.
Today, a press release issued by the National Advertising Division states that it has referred advertising claims made by T-Mobile to the FTC and the FCC. In case you're wondering, the NAD is administered by the Better Business Bureau and is "an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation." Apparently, AT&T had some issues with some of the claims made by T-Mobile in its holiday video, which was actually a take off of the animated classic "The Year Without a Santa Claus."
While T-Mobile refused to appear for an NAD proceeding, it did offer a written statement in which it said that the video was not related to any current business practices practiced by AT&T or Verizon. T-Mobile added that its video was not the kind of ad that the NAD was organized to review, and requested that the proceeding be closed because AT&T's challenge was without merit. The NAD denied that request, adding that the "whimsical" and "seasonal" tone of the video was not enough to dismiss the complaint.
The NAD found that T-Mobile did compare its services to competitors, and did mention AT&T by name. The investigative unit also said that the claims made by T-Mobile are typical of the kind they normally address in these types of proceedings. In addition, the NAD said that claims made by T-Mobile about its service need to be supported. Lastly, the NAD claimed jurisdiction over the video even though it was only seen on social media.
If you want to see the video that caused AT&T to complain that it has been the target of unsubstantiated, false, and misleading claims," and also "disparages and denigrates AT&T," you'll find it at the top of this story.