Telecom Firms Dial Up Ad Spending

"Telecommunications companies are spending serious green on advertising in recent weeks," as several telecom-related bills, including on network neutrality, come before Congress. A study by Arlen Communications estimates that the U.S. Telecom Association, which "represents the majority of the Bell telecommunications firms," has spent $250,000 a week over six weeks. And SBC/AT&T has spent some $600,000 a week, according to Arlen. A U.S. Telecom executive would not comment on the numbers, but said TV ads have been effective in "the campaign to allow telecom companies to compete with cable companies for TV service." Ads on the network neutrality issue, which criticize "proposed legislation that would block telecom and cable companies from charging preferred customers higher rates for high-speed Internet access," are more recent. These ads have appeared "anywhere a congressional staffer is likely to be -- including the Washington area transit system" and "at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport," and direct people to sites like