- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 6, 2002

AT&T; Wireless Services Inc. is going ahead with its new "mLife" campaign despite concerns from MetLife that it is too much like the insurance provider's advertising theme.
MetLife, which has its headquarters in New York, says AT&T; Wireless' use of "mLife" is confusing to customers and too similar to its theme "Have you met life today?" which the company has been using since April 2001.
AT&T; Wireless says MetLife's charges have no merit.
"Last time we checked, everyone is still free to use the 13th letter of the alphabet," the company said Friday. "There isn't the remotest chance that AT&T; Wireless' use of 'mLife' could in any way confuse consumers or dilute MetLife's brand."
MetLife filed a lawsuit Friday for a temporary restraining order to halt the ad campaign but withdrew its request later that day, saying AT&T; Wireless agreed to withdraw its application for a federal trademark. The wireless provider won't comment on whether it did withdraw its application.
Mark Siegel, an AT&T; Wireless spokesman, yesterday said that the company is "moving forward with the campaign."
Discussions between the two companies about the use of the "mLife" name are continuing this week, the companies said.
The suspense surrounding the "mLife" name has been building since ads started appearing last month.
The question "What is mLife?" has been blanketing the nation's airwaves and newspapers, not revealing any clues about it until the campaign erupted on Fox during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Viewers were teased during the first two quarters with a series of ads that directed them to www.mlife.com for more information. Curiosity led more than 681,000 visitors to that Web site throughout the day, with about 5 percent of them registering with the company, according to Jupiter Media Metrix, an Internet research firm.
The site had about 34,000 visitors on Saturday.
The "mLife" was revealed sort of in the game's third quarter as a new mobile technology service from AT&T; Wireless. The "m" stands for mobile.
"Time will tell if the information gleaned from visits to mlife.com on Sunday will contribute to a successful brand launch," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of media research at Jupiter Media Metrix.


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