“We’re Guilty” ad necessary to dispel Cell C “fallacies” – MTN

South Africa’s second operator MTN launched its “We’re Guilty” advertising campaign in response to the “virulent attack” on its reputation by rival Cell C, with MTN saying it needed to “dispel fallacies” being spread its rival operator.

Advertising campaigns have been launched by both operators following MTN’s decision to launch a legal challenge against cuts to mobile termination rates (MTRs) contained in new regulations.

MTN took out a two page newspaper advertisement stating “We’re Guilty” for making billions as well as reinvesting 83 per cent of its earnings to develop the market, with Cell C responding yesterday by “censoring” MTN’s advert to read as if MTN admitted to caring only about its own wealth and “doing South Africans”.

MTN today said it only took out the advertisement because it felt Cell C was disseminating inaccurate information about the operator, and MTN wanted to rectify the false information.

“The decision by MTN to launch the “We’re Guilty” ad campaign is in response to the virulent attack by Cell C on its brand and reputation,” said MTN.

“MTN reserves the right to dispel fallacies and inaccurate media statements made by Cell C following its decision to file papers against the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.”

MTN said that while it does make billions of rands, it also makes significant contributions to developing the telecoms sector in South Africa and works to facilitate access to communications across the country.

“We sought to articulate the contribution that MTN has made in developing the ICT sector, the role it has and continues to play in socio-economic development, and the significant contribution MTN has made in accelerating access to telecommunications services to millions of South Africans,” the operator said.

“Indeed MTN has made billions of rands over the years, which it has ploughed back into the country in corporate social responsibility projects and in tax it pays to the fiscus.

“MTN has been at the forefront of lowering telecommunications costs through innovation and ground-breaking innovations such as PayasYouGo, MTN Zone, both a world first, and Mahala offerings.”

MTN said its own advert was not intended as an attack against Cell C, despite implied jibes in the ad addressed to Cell C about the quality of the rival’s network.

“The ad should not be construed as an attack, we are fighting for the consumers who deserve a strong, reliable and progressive network, and a conducive business environment in which competition is fair,” MTN said.

“We spelled out the truth about who we are and what we stand for. We are unashamedly pro-consumer, and we are unashamedly South African and shall continue to improve our services for our consumers.”

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