AT&T Runs Co-Branded Pop-Up Ads on its U-verse IPTV Service

AT&T's Microsoft Mediaroom-powered IPTV Service, U-verse TV, last week began running pop-up ads that offer subscribers free Domino's pizza and a 2-liter bottle of coke, if they upgrade their subscription to include the Showtime premium programming service or AT&T's The Movie Package or U300 programming packages (which include Showtime channels). The ads, which invite viewers to call a toll-free number to upgrade their service and then go to to redeem a coupon, provide them with two options: "Dismiss" and "More Info." The existence of the campaign was first reported by DSL Reports, which was alerted to it by users complaining about the pop-up ads in its U-verse discussion forum.

Responding to the somewhat negative publicity that the pop-up ads appeared to generate, AT&T issued the following statement: "We've sent on-screen service messages to U-verse customers previously--for example, when we rolled out THDVR, we sent customers a message to let them know that they now had THDVR service. We received positive feedback that these messages were helpful to alerting them about their service and features. This particular message was letting customers know about a U-verse TV offer from AT&T, exclusive to our customers. It was not a paid advertisement. It's the first time that we've sent a message about a special U-verse offer. We're listening to our customers' feedback. We want to know what service messages they find helpful. Our goal is to use these messages selectively to inform customers about their service, not distract from their viewing experience."

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