It's Verizon vs. Sprint over 'most dependable' network claim

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A national advertising group has recommended Sprint pull its "most dependable 3G network" advertising following a complaint on the topic by Verizon Wireless. The squabble comes on the heels of a battle between Verizon and AT&T Mobility over similar advertising claims.

The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus recommended that Sprint pull the "most dependable" ad. The NAD said that it looked at the most recent Nielsen drive test data and concluded that Verizon had fewer dropped calls and performed better in terms of session reliability than Sprint.

Sprint spokesman Matthew Sullivan said the company is standing by its claim, and would appeal the NAD decision to the National Advertising Review Board. He said the NAD did not use signal strength information in its decision, which he said is "the most effective criteria for determining indoor use."

"We're confident that our claim is well supported," he told FierceWireless. "And we're confident in the appeals process."

In its ads, Sprint notes its ad claim is "based on independent, third-party drive tests for 3G data connection success, session reliability and signal strength for the top 50 most populous markets from January 2008 to May 2009."

A Verizon spokesman declined to comment.

The disagreement is notable in light of an increasingly contentious advertising battle between AT&T and Verizon, which Verizon kicked off with a series of ads attacking AT&T's 3G coverage area.

For more:
- see this AP article

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