FedEx sues over USPS ad

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Federal Express Corp. Memphis, has filed suit in U.S. district court against the U.S. Postal Service, charging an ad campaign comparing the two delivery services is false and misleading. FedEx asked the court to order the postal service to halt TV, radio and print ads comparing characteristics and prices of the FedEx Two Day service to the USPS Priority Mail. FedEx said the ads are misleading because the USPS does not commit to delivering Priority Mail on Saturday.

FedEx Two Day promises two-day delivery while Priority Mail provides delivery in 2 to 3 days measured from post office to post office, the suit noted. FedEx also charges that the postal service falsely refers to itself as a company instead of an independent branch of the government.

The postal service said it hadn't seen the suit but denied its advertising misrepresented the facts. It said its competitors have voiced similar complaints to the TV networks, which have chosen to continue to run the ads.

Separately, the postal service said today it has pulled several of its ads comparing the effectiveness of magazines and TV with direct mail, saying they had been misunderstood. "We felt the tone was being misunderstood by our customers," said Frank Brennan, a postal spokesman. The ads from Wunderman Cato Johnson, New York, had drawn the ire of several media groups. Mr. Brennan said the campaign will continue but that creative will be recast.

Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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