Comcast and Time Warner Cable Seem to Think 'Merger' Is a Dirty Word
Comcast is doing everything possible to try to ensure that its controversial $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable goes through -- including today announcing a complicated customer-swap deal with Charter that would somewhat reduce the Comcast-TWC footprint in an effort to appease regulators.
Meanwhile, Comcast is also taking its message to the people -- you, dear skeptical consumer -- through a print and web campaign with a "Together is Better" tagline. The full-page Wall Street Journal ad shown here (thanks to Kantar Media/CMAG for pointing it out) features an adorable, wide-eyed little boy using a laptop -- he sure doesn't look sad because his parents are paying higher prices for their hyperconglomeratized cable and internet access, does he? -- and lots of text. Starting with,
"Together, a faster, more reliable broadband network. As a leader in high-speed Internet, Comcast has increased speeds 13 times in 12 years. We're investing billions in new, next-generation technologies, and through the transaction with Time Warner Cable, we'll create a stronger, more reliable and more secure broadband network for millions of new customers."
Strangely, Comcast also positions itself in the ad as a champion of so-called net neutrality -- but doesn't mention the recent news that the FCC seems intent on effectively ending net neutrality, or the fact that Netflix -- which has come out against the Comcast-TWC merger -- reluctantly agreed to pay Comcast a premium starting in February to optimize delivery of its data following customer complaints about poor video-streaming quality.
Perhaps most curious of all, the Comcast print ad and the web destination it specifies -- comcastcorporation.com/together (which redirects to comcast.com/twctransaction) -- both scrupulously avoid using the word merger, instead repeatedly referring to the deal as a transaction. Because, you know, two conglomerates joining forces to dominate cable and internet service is really similar to you going to the ATM machine or swiping your debit card at the 7-Eleven.
No one could possibly object to a nice little transaction -- especially one that's about togetherness -- right?
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.