Canadian telecom company asked to rephrase ad copy

Toronto, Nov 25 ( Intervening in an interesting corporate war in Canada, a court Tuesday rapped Rogers Communications for claiming itself to be “Canada’s Most Reliable” wireless network.

Rogers, which is the country’s major wireless network and also runs many TV channels, has been making this claim in sly advertisements. But the Supreme Court in Vancouver Tuesday said the network cannot make this claim without qualification.

The ruling came after the rival Telus network asked the court to stop Rogers Communications from claiming itself to be “Canada’s Most Reliable’ network. Telus said Rogers’ claim was no more valid after it and Bell Canada too have expanded their network this month. It also argued that the claim was based on outdated information.

The ruling assumes significance as the country’s three major players – Rogers, Bell Canada and Telus – unveil discounts and rebates to woo people during the upcoming Christmas season.

The court said, “Given the proximity of these proceedings to the pre-Christmas buying season, and the fierce nature of the competition in this highly profitable market, the commercial importance of this application is not inconsiderable.”

Claiming its superiority in the Canadian telecom market, Rogers Communications has been running ads with a clever fine print footnote with a disclaimer, saying, “most reliable network refers to call clarity and dropped calls (voice)… as measured within Rogers HPSA footprint and comparing with competitors’ voice and data 1xEVDO networks.”

Taking excepton to this wording, the court said consumers would have no clues about the meaning of “HPSA footprints” and “EVDO networks” in its ads. This incomprehensible language will give the impression that Rogers is most reliable “period.”

The court added,”Rogers must, on the evidence, be taken to know that its representation that it has Canada’s most reliable network is based on a comparison that is no longer valid.”

It gave the telecom company some time to comply with its decision. But Rogers communicatons said it will appeal the court decision. “We are perplexed by the decision. We continue to believe that our network reliability claim is valid,” the wireless company said.