The four biggest mobile phone companies in the US are launching their first joint advertising campaign against texting while driving, uniting behind AT&T's "It Can Wait" slogan to blanket TV and radio.
AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile will be joined by 200 other organisations backing the multi-million dollar ad campaign.
The campaign is unusual not just because it unites rivals, but because it represents companies warning against the dangers of their own products. After initially fighting laws against mobile phone use while driving, mobile phone companies have begun to embrace the language of the federal government's campaign against mobile phone use by drivers.
"Every CEO in the industry that you talk to recognises that this is an issue that needs to be dealt with," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in an interview. "I think we all understand that pooling our resources with one consistent message is a lot more powerful than all four of us having different messages and going different directions."
Beyond TV and radio ads, the new campaign will stretch into the skies through displays on Goodyear's three blimps. It will also include store displays, community events, social-media outreach and a national tour of a driving simulator. The campaign targets teens in particular.
AT&T calls texting and driving an "epidemic".
Stephenson said that "texting while driving is a deadly habit that makes you 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash".
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