11.18.2006

Despite the Hynes/New Media Strategics fiasco, Verizon's master plan for Newton is working

Goal: Verizon wants to increase its business in Newton and other local cities where there are lots of rich people.

Problem: The law

Strategy 1: Get high-profile mainstream media outlets to parrot your PR and marketing lines, like this report from the Boston Globe does:

Verizon touts higher Internet speeds, more cable channels, a larger library of movies, and better quality -- all at prices that would be competitive with the town's only other cable provider, Comcast.
Strategy 2: Get high-profile municipal politicians on your side by using fake letter-writing campaigns, like this one, orchestrated by Verizon's Stephanie S. Lee and Santoro:
".... If you are interested in more competition, please send an email directly to Mayor Cohen to let him know you want cable choice. A sample letter is provided for your convenience. Please add personal information and comments to customize your letter, if you prefer. ...

Subject: Bring more cable choice to Newton

Dear [ Decision Maker ],

Verizon has invested millions of dollars in Newton by installing its advanced fiber optic network, which offers video, internet and phone services. Verizon not only offers us another alternative to cable, but will provide residents with a more robust channel line up, more HDTV offerings, and thousands of shows and movies on demand -- at lower prices than we are paying today.

The City of Newton has been a pioneer in fostering the spirit of cable competition. With the addition of Verizon's video service, we will be among the few municipalities in Massachusetts to provide consumers with three options for cable TV.

Today residents in nearly 20 Massachusetts communities are enjoying Verizon's FiOS TV. Newton residents also deserve the best technology available along with a superior choice for cable TV.

I am writing to ask that you move quickly to approve Verizon's application for a video license so that Newton residents can benefit from more competition and the capabilities of this advanced fiber network.
Strategy 3: Try to astroturf local blogs like Borderline.

Result: Success, probably, judging by page 3 of the Nov. 15 Newton Tab.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I don't like the astroturfing and not a fan of these companies at all. I think Verizon is a fairly evil corporation.

But I say give them a permit to provide cable. A little Comcast vs Verizon competition would be healthy. instead of Comcast vs no one.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Margalit said...

I'm a Verizon FIOS customer and I say, bring it to all of newton at an affordable price. Comcast be damned. They are evil. I'd rather any competition, which should lower the price of cable so that the average joe could afford it. Right now, the combo package is well over $100/month, and that's ridiculous.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Borderline said...

I find it hard to believe that anyone can justify underhanded tactics that subvert democratic processes, the law, and the media for the sake of corporate profit and personal conveneience.

9:30 PM  

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