- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Describing it in a headline as a “delicious bit of backstabbing,” Ad Week on Monday chronicled how Paul Marcarelli — the erstwhile “Can you hear me now?” pitch man for Verizon — defected to rival Sprint, where he’s recorded TV spots for the cellular service provider. 

The first such TV ad aired during Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. In the ad, Mr. Marcarelli concedes that, yes, Verizon is “better” than Sprint, but only by a “less than 1 percent” margin that doesn’t justify the price difference.

As Mr. Marcarelli claims in the commercial, Sprint is about just as good but at roughly half the price of Verizon.

“It’s a deliciously nasty move from Sprint,” Ad Week explained. “But what most viewers might not realize is that Marcarelli’s decade as Verizon’s ‘Test Man’ character was fairly traumatizing for him personally, as outlined in a fascinating 2011 profile of him in The Atlantic.”

“Verizon made him sign a draconian contract that restricted his creative and financial opportunities, and prohibited him from discussing his experiences with others,” Ad Week reported, citing The Atlantic’s profile.

Mr. Marcarelli has also joined Twitter using the handle @thatwireless guy. Thus far he’s tweeted only 10 times, with most tweets having something to do with promoting Sprint. The self-described “lover of pugs” however, debuted his account on June 3 by musing, “My dog just slurped directly from my cereal bowl and I’m okay with it. #puppylove”

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