Chilean telecoms group Entel has sought to bring its ongoing public feud with rival mobile operator WOM by filing a lawsuit against the firm, accusing it of falsifying information and undermining Entel’s reputation, Diario Financiero reports. The case refers to a recent spate of marketing strategies and stunts from WOM that have specifically targeted Entel, including the projection of WOM’s logo on to the side of Entel’s corporate building and a parody advert that featured the models and musical jingle of a well-known Entel advert from the early 2000s. Entel’s filing accuses WOM of exceeding the limitations of competition rules in Chile, stating that the operator: ‘has executed acts contrary to good faith and good customs in order to divert customers [from Entel]; has spread incorrect or false facts and assertions, misleading the target audience and Entel subscribers about the terms of its contracts; has disseminated incorrect or false information likely to undermine Entel’s reputation in the telecommunications market; and has used corporeal and intangible property owned by Entel in order to ridicule it and divert its clientele to WOM.’
Entel went on to claim that WOM’s efforts have not only included marketing, but also legal challenges. According to Entel, WOM has ‘not hesitated to formulate unfounded complaints’ before administrative bodies and courts – all with substantial media coverage – in order to ‘victimise and affect the rights of their competitors, especially Entel.’
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, WOM has used controversial marketing campaigns to garner public attention and cement its reputation as a rebellious upstart. In the run-up to its relaunch as WOM in mid-2016 – under its previous owners, the cellco had operated as Nextel Chile – the cellco had run a series of adverts making fun of its competitors, prompting Movistar to sue the company in response. Tension between WOM and Entel, in particular, began to escalate in late 2017/early 2018, with the operators trading blows in the courts, press and on social media.