Verizon slams Sprint through Ricky Gervais

by: John DyeMarch 23, 2016

In a move that represents the first open act of publicity aggression against Sprint, Verizon has criticized Sprint’s recent ad campaign through the mouth of none other than hit comedian Ricky Gervais. In the brief ad, Gervais slams a yellow map for misleadingly depicting coverage on an unnamed mobile network. Although Sprint isn’t directly mentioned, that yellow color is unmistakable.

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To add fuel to the fire, Gervais and the Sprint got into a brief spat over Twitter, with Sprint thanking Verizon and the comedian for free advertising and Gervais quipping back “Don’t shoot the messenger.”

The jugular Verizon is aiming for with this advertising punch is the disclaimer at the bottom of a map noting that the map doesn’t represent coverage. Sprint’s position is that they are “just obeying the law,” and they counter (fairly) that Verizon does the same thing in their advertising. Although it does come across a bit hypocritical on the part of Verizon, Sprint is certainly guilty of at least being a bit deceptive.

The real crime here, however, is the total waste of Gervais’s charisma and wit. The thirty-second piece could literally have anyone standing in for the comedian and have essentially the same punch. It kind of seems like if you’re pulling in that kind of star power, you should at least have some punchy writing to make it worth the cash.

What are your thoughts on this open combat between Sprint and ‘Big Red’? It looks like Verizon might be taking a page out of T-Mobile’s book and becoming more adversarial in their marketing. But is this approach as effective as T-Mobile’s guerilla tactics have historically been? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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  • abn

    I’VE had Verizon b4 a simple nightmare. I now have Sprint for the last couple of years no complaints at ALL. But Im sure people will feel otherwise and thats ok. But SPRINTS been the best so far me and Im near Philadelphia.

    • Jeffrey

      Just like any other third-rate carrier, it’s fine in and around a major city but go off the beaten path a little bit and you’ll get nothing.

      • meyerweb

        Guess you haven’t actually used Sprint in a while, have you? There are few places I don’t get coverage, and I can roam on Verizon just fine in those areas. I have a Verizon hotspot through work, and there are dead zones in Verizon’s coverage, too.

        • Telveer

          Have used one very recenrly. Dropped calls and data outages … boasting about roaming over VZW … lol. No wonder Sprint speeds suck most of the time. Roam more than usual, and Sprint will come barking at you. It may work for some people, and for those, it is a steal

          • meyerweb

            You’re really stretching, you know that, right? I said I get coverage most everywhere, so roaming is a rarity. And I’ve never gotten a bill from Sprint with roaming charges. The only place I’ve been completely without coverage lately was in a national park in Nevada. AT&T and Verizon didn’t have coverage there, either.

            Does Verizon have better coverage, in general? Yes. Is Sprint as bad as its critics like to pretend? Not anywhere close.

          • Telveer

            Used them for 5 years. Learnt to bear with ot because a close friend continued to use it until late last year, before giving up and switching. Coverage and prices alone s5ont cut it. Quality and reliability of service matter too.

      • abn

        They all have some issues at one point or another

    • Telveer

      As long as you don’t travel anywhere. I like my mobile phone to be fully mobile

      • abn

        Not true, I travel to York Pa which is 3 hours from where I live through Amish country where theres back roads to the back roads. Sprints been great buddy. Like I said when I had Verizon it sucked. Thats just my experience . People think otherwise for what they’ve experienced and thats fine. But as for now Im rolling with Sprint. Verizon didn’t cut it. I did travel to Waynesboro Va which is 6 hours from me, again excellent. So maybe they looking out just for me. Lol

        • Telveer

          Looks like all the studies showing Sprint sucks are high on whatever. Used Sprint for 4 years. After the WiMax fiasco, no more.

          • abn

            Ok I assume you have good service with your carrier? So good for you.

          • abn

            Haterade not supplied in here. You Happy?.

  • M42

    I don’t know about Sprint’s maps, but I’ve had Verizon before and their maps are total bullcrap. They show full coverage in places where they have absolutely none.

    • Alex Ohannes

      T-Mobile shows decent coverage in my area when in fact I have stellar coverage. Go figure.

      • M42

        T-Mobile maps are accurate from what I’ve seen, unlike Verizon’s.

  • Mark

    I live in a very rural area. Amish country and I get LTE pretty much everywhere with Sprint. It’s cheaper and I have unlimited data. No complaints here

    • abn

      I AGREE 100% With you but in here save your typing? Lot of Sprint bashing but its ok Im keeping them. I’ve had other carriers B4 just didnt get it done. As for the speed issue my daughter has the 6edge I would of thought by now she would be complaining. No harm no fouls. Rock on Sprint whatever your doing keep doing it

  • meyerweb

    Sprints coverage isn’t a good as Verizon’s, but at least their phones aren’t as loaded down with bloat as Verizon’s are. And my 4 phone plan on Sprint is $100 a month cheaper than the best Verizon could do. With unlimited, unthrottled data.

  • Pamela

    Commercials being totally truthful!?

  • Hiran

    I am on Verizon and our experience in Detroit is great. good coverage, good call quality. My Dad is on Sprint for work, bad coverage and dropped calls. My parents and I are Verizon for 15+ years. Good customer service and network. The ads for Verizon are nice, but it would be a bit more fun if Donald Trump, Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno, Pat Sajak/Vanna White, Sesame Street gang. I would like to see Donald Trump, Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno, Wheel of Fortune (Pat Sajak/Vanna White), and Sesame Street on Verizon ads.

    • abn

      You forgot moses

    • abn

      Looks like the big V has other issues to worry about.

  • abn

    Yes Sprint rolled marshmallow 6.0 to Samsung 6+ phones today. Phone working a little faster been using it for about 2 hours just to see if any issue are there and I must say everything serms better. Enhancements are great watching battery though that seems to be a little better than what i had b4. Check bsck with you guys in a week

  • Jonathan Cable

    Sprint has become a lot faster and more reliable over the past 2 years. I do not live close to any major cities and have LTE plus coverage. I likentonryn speed tests and see 88Mbps down all the time.

  • Rogue

    Ricky Gervais needs more money, does he? Utterly shameless whoring to the adman.