Verizon Victory Over Sprint Follows Defeat of AT&T in Legal War Over Ads

Last Updated Nov 24, 2009 2:34 PM EST

Verizon (VZ) is kicking ass right now in the 3G coverage advertising war, having seen its ads prevail against legal contests with both Sprint (S) and AT&T (T). The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus just ruled that Sprint should stop advertising its service as "America's most dependable 3G network," after Verizon challenged its ads. NAD rules on disputes between advertisers over the truthfulness of their claims. Verizon also recently won a court ruling after AT&T challenged its claim to "5X More 3G Coverage."

Sprint said it will appeal NAD's decision to the National Advertising Review Board. NAD tested Verizon's 3G against Sprint's using a Nielsen drive test:

Verizon Wireless had a lower connection failure rate and a lower task failure rate than Sprint and performed better in terms of session reliability.
[That] undermined Sprint's "most dependable" claim as to outdoor usage.
NAD also looked at signal strength in indoor usage:
NAD had several concerns with the advertiser's signal strength evidence, including whether the evidence was a reliable indicator of the indoor dependability of the advertiser's network.
Sprint said in a statement to NAD:
"[The company] maintains that its dependability claim is fully substantiated based on the results of the connection success and session reliability tests, together with results of the signal strength tests."