Quantcast

Big 4 cell-phone carriers unite on anti-texting ads



In this Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011, file photo, a driver uses an iPhone while driving Wednesday, in Los Angeles. The country’s four biggest cell-phone companies are set to launch their first joint advertising campaign against texting while driving, uniting behind AT&T’s “It Can Wait” slogan to blanket TV and radio during the summer of 2013. AP photo

NEW YORK— The four biggest U.S. cell-phone companies are set to launch their first joint advertising campaign against texting while driving, uniting behind AT&T’s “It Can Wait” slogan to blanket TV and radio this summer.

AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile will be joined by 200 other organizations backing the multi-million dollar ad campaign.

The campaign is unusual not just because it unites rivals, but because it represents companies warning against the dangers of their own products. After initially fighting laws against cell-phone use while driving, cell phone companies have begun to embrace the language of the federal government’s campaign against cell phone use by drivers.

AT&T and Verizon have run ads against texting and driving since 2009. In 2005, Sprint Nextel Corp. created an education program targeting teens learning to drive.

“Every CEO in the industry that you talk to recognizes that this is an issue that needs to be dealt with,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in an interview. “I think we all understand that pooling our resources with one consistent message is a lot more powerful than all four of us having different messages and going different directions.”

Beyond TV and radio ads, the new campaign will stretch into the skies through displays on Goodyear’s three blimps. It will also include store displays, community events, social-media outreach and a national tour of a driving simulator. The campaign targets teens in particular.

AT&T Inc. calls texting and driving an “epidemic,” a term it borrows from the federal Department of Transportation. The U.S. transportation secretary has been on a self-described “rampage” against cell phones since his term began in January 2009.

Stephenson said that “texting while driving is a deadly habit that makes you 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash.” The figure refers to a 2009 government study of bus and truck drivers. It isn’t based on crashes alone, but on the likelihood the drivers showed risky behavior such as lane drifting or sharp braking, sometimes culminating in a crash.

The unified ad campaign comes as some researchers are starting to say that while texting and driving at the same time is clearly a bad idea, it’s not contributing measurably to an increase in traffic accidents. The number of accidents is in a long-term decline, and the explosion of texting and smartphone use doesn’t seem to be reversing that trend.

In the 2009 government study, texting, email and surfing on the cell phone was a factor in about 1 percent of crashes, well below epidemic levels.

Nonetheless, the cell-phone industry and the federal government have focused their attention on cell phones.

The government’s Distraction.gov site singles out cell phones as the greatest danger among all sources of driver distraction.








Recent Stories:

Senate ‎resumes Makati Building 2 probe sans Mayor Binay 1 min elapsed Greater Chicago Fil-Ams set lots of History Month events 18 mins elapsed SC stops all projects in watershed 21 mins elapsed In the mood for Lav 22 mins elapsed PH film competes in Tokyo 51 mins elapsed Amid evacuee hardship, babies give joy 51 mins elapsed Rains in Visayas, Mindanao Thursday due to lingering intertropical convergence zone 57 mins elapsed MRT-3 operations disrupted anew due to broken rails 1 hour elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.




  • Mux

    How can anybody be stupid enough to text and drive is beyond me.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement
Marketplace