British Columbia

Telus fails to get injunction against Mobilicity ads

Television ads by small wireless competitor Mobilicity will stay on the air after a court injunction requested by Telus was denied Wednesday by the B.C. Supreme Court.

Television ads by small wireless competitor Mobilicity will stay on the air after a court injunction requested by Telus was denied Wednesday by the B.C. Supreme Court.

Mobilicity's ads focus on no cellphone contracts, unlimited data and "what you see is what you get," a marketing strategy it has always used since it launched in 2010, the court said.

"Telus is neither identified nor singled out," Justice Christopher Grauer wrote in his decision to deny the injunction.

"Finally, it follows further from my finding that Telus lacks a strong case" and that by the time Telus's claim is tried, the Christmas buying season will be long past, the judge said.

He noted that if the injunction were granted and Mobilicity was ultimately successful, "it will have missed the opportunity the 2012 season presents to use its existing and well-established marketing strategy to make competitive gains."

Mobilicity offers no-contract cellphone service.

Mobilicity president and chief operating officer, Stewart Lyons, said it was an "intimidation tactic" by Telus to try to stop its no-contract advertising campaign, which began in late November and also included print and Internet campaigns.

"This is a typical example of an entrenched oligopoly trying to flex their muscles to try to intimidate a smaller competitor," Lyons said.

Telus had accused Mobilicity of making false claims in general about other carriers about placing limits on unlimited calling plans by restricting them to evenings and weekends. Telus has said it has no such restrictions.

Telus spokesman Shawn Hall said the Vancouver telecom isn't letting the matter drop.

Failure to get the interim injunction "does not affect our pursuit of a full hearing," even though the ad campaign likely will be over by the time the matter is back in the B.C. Supreme Court, he said.