The dispute between EE and Three this week demonstrated just how powerful a single word can be. The world of advertising is filled with grand statements and hyperbole – we’re so used to hearing companies speak in these terms that their meaning can sometimes get a little lost. But for those with a vested interest in the product or service being pushed, the meaning is everything.
We saw this recently when EE displayed its anger at Three’s claim that, in terms of reliability, its network was ‘undisputed’. The UK’s largest network was annoyed enough to refer the case to the Advertising Standards Agency. A well-worn route for mobile phone companies disputing their rivals’ advertising claims.
The mobile industry is not one of absolutes – it’s a place where there is always more than one opinion, and many different methods. It makes navigating the space a sometimes difficult task – you need to check and balance, explain and analyse, with the knowledge that whatever you decide will undoubtedly be contested. But that makes it far more interesting than having everyone agree with each other the whole time.
As the market consolidates, it’s important that the diversity of opinion is not lost – a major danger of a market with fewer larger players is that everyone starts to agree with each other. That would be worrying for a number of reasons, not least because the differences within the market are what make it so captivating.