Cell C hits back at MTN open letter

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


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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  • TheTechieGuy

    Perhaps the network kids should stop spending money on tit-for-tat double page ad spreads and focus on improving their network. A better network with good service wins customers and not who has the most creative ad agency….

  • http://www.letsgethighandmarrygaypeople.com/ Gregory S. Balchin

    cell c’s response was in an email, not in a newspaper.

  • TheTechieGuy

    The point stands – spending money on ad agencies. Maybe add another seat to the call center? or answer Twitter queries faster? that makes customers happy.

  • sal

    Though this is witty, sorry to say this is outright defamation. How can
    Cell C prove these lines alleged against MTN? And to make things worse
    they have kept MTN logo on it as well. It is just like vandalizing some
    ones else property/material to defame them.
    Though the marketing of CellC had humour sense, they lacked logic. I think MTN can sue cell c on this for millions.

  • Johan

    According to reports MTN is also going to charge us R25 per Mb for VoIP data. Mtn really just care about their wealth not the people that pay!!

  • http://www.letsgethighandmarrygaypeople.com/ Gregory S. Balchin

    lol if you think they spent ad agency hours on this. it’s a pretty straightforward joke to make, using a tactic that’s pretty old.

  • http://www.letsgethighandmarrygaypeople.com/ Gregory S. Balchin

    there’s not a single fallacy in the modified ad

    1) mtn makes billions. source: annual results
    2) mtn is not playing a major role in cutting prices. source: every article where mtn is opposing price cuts.
    3) mtn is fighting for its wealth. source: it literally admitted this in its icasa filing.

  • Guest

    Et tu, Duncan? Everyone’s posting this, but no one cites any sources for veracity. I thought you would at least have some evidence that this was genuine.

  • http://briantw.com Brian Tristam Williams

    Thanks for citing your source, Duncan. Everyone else is simply reposting this without any attribution.

  • http://www.techcentral.co.za/ Duncan McLeod

    It was sent out by Cell C’s communications team.

  • Ofentse Letsholo

    lol…lol.. i still can’t get over this, ae Cell C is an ass rocker..lol

  • Tyson

    Whether its from Cell C or not, it is brilliant, wherever it originated well done!! I have been with all 4 networks, and unfortunately Vodacom is still the best, Cell C is the cheapest no argument, but poor network speeds frustrate more than anything! And based on the fact that MTN wants to charge some ridiculous amount per MB for Voip, ensures that I will never ever use their services again!! I am not here to support MTN who invests my hard earned money here and there, if I want to donate my money to charity or whoever I will do so myself, I want quality reliability and reasonable prices thank you!

  • Ryan

    Cell C got their ad agency to write an email?

  • King_Anonymous

    You’re an idiot. The businessman’s world does not revolve around the customer, there are other matters to attend to. This is something they had to do and it’s funny if you ask me. They can “improve” the stuff you are crying about anytime they want. It’s not like the newspaper advert was paid for with your taxes, moron.

  • King_Anonymous

    You’re a narrow minded idiot. Comedy and debate is not for you.

  • http://www.letsgethighandmarrygaypeople.com/ Gregory S. Balchin

    reading up to and including the second paragraph is so hard these days

  • Dave Baker

    It may well be defamation, vandalisation and copyright infringement but I am not convinced that it will go to court since the case will be reported on and Cell C will try and prove their statements true.

    So one could win the case but lose customers

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