Apple 2.0

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Ad war helped both Verizon and AT&T

December 14, 2009: 10:28 AM ET

Their battles on air and in court somehow managed to lift both their reputations

Click to enlarge. Source: You Gov's BrandIndex

In politics, mudslinging tends to sully both the slinger and slimed. But according to a YouGov BrandIndex survey released Monday, the ad wars this fall between Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) had the opposite effect.

As you may recall, Verizon went after AT&T and Apple's (AAPL) iPhone with a series of high-profile "There's a Map for That" ads that cut so close to the bone AT&T asked a federal court in Atlanta to issue a restraining order. (The court declined and the suits were ultimately withdrawn.)

Rather than diminishing the companies in the eyes of consumers, however, the contretemps actually raised awareness of both brands, Verizon somewhat more than AT&T.

On Nov. 2, according to the BrandIndex survey, 37.1% of all adults 18 to 34 had heard something about the Verizon Wireless brand; by Dec. 7, that number was 62.2%. For AT&T the numbers went from 41.2% in early November to 54.5% last week.

Verizon Wireless' awareness passed AT&T's in the last week of November.

BrandIndex says it interviews 5,000 people each weekday from an online panel of more than 1.5 million Americans. Their scores range from -100 to 100 and are calculated by subtracting negative feedback from positive. The margin of error is +/- 2%.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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