Cell C hits back at MTN open letter

Cell C has gone on the offensive, reworking an MTN advertisement published in a Sunday newspaper.

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If there was any doubts that tensions were running high in South Africa’s mobile telecommunications industry, these should be put to rest after Cell C’s response to MTN’s Sunday newspaper advertisement in which it penned an open letter to its smaller rival admitting sarcastically that it was guilty.

On Tuesday, Cell C hit back, simply censoring MTN’s original ad to create a different message to the one intended (see below). The modified ad was e-mailed to various media outlets on Tuesday morning.

At the weekend, MTN hit back at Cell C’s recent cheeky radio advertising campaign, which was slapped down this month by the Advertising Standards Authority, telling its smaller rival in a double-page Sunday newspaper advertisement that it, MTN, is, in fact, “guilty” as charged. The ad, dripping with sarcasm, explained that MTN is “guilty” of reinvesting the billions in profits it makes back into its national network.

“We’re guilty,” the double-page ad, which was placed across pages two and three of the main section of the Sunday Times.

“Dear Cell C. You are right,” the ad’s text then says. “You said that we are making billions, and that is correct. We are also guilty of investing 83% of those billions, back into South Africa.”

MTN was left seeing red after Cell C began flighting a radio advertisement in February, soon after MTN filed papers against communications regulator Icasa at the high court in Johannesburg challenging new call termination rate regulations that determine what operators charge each other to carry calls between their networks.  — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media

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