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Culture

Sprint mocks Verizon execs, says they're going crazy

Technically Incorrect: They are stressed, their hair is all over the place. At least that's what Sprint shows in a new ad.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Does this look like a Verizon exec to you?

Sprint; YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

They don't shave.

Their hair and makeup is all over the place.

They're sweating profusely. They're collapsing in the office.

No, I'm not talking about Donald Trump's campaign staff. I'm referring to Verizon executives, whose veins are bursting at the progress made by their self-styled rival, Sprint.

Please, these aren't my musings. This is the impression given in a new Sprint ad, which would like you to think there are secret cameras inside Verizon's headquarters.

These cameras see the strain. They record the panic.

"Verizon execs can't hide from the facts," says the ad, which insists there's nearly only a 1 percent difference between Sprint and Verizon in terms of network performance, so why pay more?

Is that assertion true? Does it matter? We're in a postfact world, aren't we? Ipso facto, facts don't seem to matter.

Verizon doesn't seem impressed by the commercial.

A spokesman told me, "Our network stretches to reach about a million and a half square miles more than Sprint's."

"They should reroute these advertising dollars to support communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew that lost Sprint service," he said.

A Sprint spokeswoman retorted: "We added 347,000 new customers this past quarter. Verizon lost 36,000. We must be doing something right."

The Verizon spokesman added that, especially in times of crisis such as the Louisiana floods and Hurricane Matthew, "having a great network matters to real people."

Advertising tends not to feature real people. It features actors making claims and exaggerated faces.

Both Sprint and T-Mobile have taken it upon themselves to be real mean toward Verizon. Just as, coincidentally, Verizon has been dismissive of both.

Sprint has its challenges when it comes to upgrading its network. It's trying to do more with less, which sometimes brings you success and sometimes is just smoke and mirages.

Aficionados might note, however, that this ad doesn't feature Paul Marcarelli, the former Verizon spokesman who was lured by Sprint out of advertising retirement with some ballyhoo.

I wonder how long his contract has to run before Verizon can try to hire him back.

Update, 7:40 a.m. PT October 24: Adds comment from Sprint.