AT&T (T) CEO John Stankey has a message for competitor T-Mobile: Cut the nonsense when you’re advertising to seniors.
“They made some statements and came out with some communications that were inaccurate and untrue,” Stankey told Yahoo Finance Live this week at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference (video above).
T-Mobile (TMUS) — long known as a savvy marketer of its wireless brand — recently launched a campaign titled “Verizon and AT&T Ban Senior Discounts.” The marketing stunt claims that “92% of seniors in the US don’t get a cell phone discount from Verizon or AT&T because they don’t live in Florida.”
The campaign aims to shed light on T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ plan, which gives people over 55 a discount to access its network. An existing entry-level package for people over 55 starts at $40 per month. AT&T also offers a 55+ plan, but it’s only available in Florida.
AT&T quickly filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile in the Eastern District Court in Texas, alleging that T-Mobile was involved in false advertising. T-Mobile did not immediately respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for comment.
“I felt there was evidence of harm in the marketplace in this case given how widely this was communicated to the senior community,” Stankey added. “And I want the courts to actually look at that and maybe give a slightly more meaningful review than doing it through the traditional channels.”
When asked if T-Mobile’s tactics frustrated him, Stankey gave a frank answer.
“We come to work every day, we know we’re going to have competitors, and we’re working aggressively to do what we need to do to tell our story,” he said. “But I will not stand by and make someone not tell the truth about my company. And from that perspective you will get an answer.”
Brian Soci is a freelance editor and Anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and further LinkedIn.
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