Ameritech wins regulatory decision against AT&T over advertisement


Ameritech won an important marketing battle with long-distance giant AT&T yesterday, this time centering on a war of words about that all-important marketing tool -- your phone bill.

The National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau, an ad industry self-regulatory organization, ruled yesterday that an ad by Ameritech -- promoting one phone bill for both local and long distance as well as cellular phone and Internet service -- was not misleading, as AT&T had claimed earlier this fall.

AT&T brought the ad before the NAD in September, claiming that Ameritech's claim: "Well, at Ameritech, we combine your local and long-distance calls into one convenient bill" gave consumers the false impression that Ameritech offers long-distance service.

In such industry disputes, the NAD holds an inquiry and offers a decision, which can be appealed to the National Advertising Review Board -- or taken to court.

AT&T said yesterday that it still believes the campaign was misleading. The company "will determine its next step after reviewing the written decision," said AT&T spokesman Oriano Pagnucci.

Pub Date: 12/30/97

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