MTN “We’re Guilty” | A Response to Cell C



If you read yesterday’s Sunday Times you’d have seen the giant, yellow double page spread ad taken out by MTN. The ad is a letter to fellow cellular network Cell C after they called MTN out in a radio ad in late February.


Cell C’s radio ad slates MTN for their decision to take the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to court over its regulations reducing interconnect charges between network operators. The campaign also included a print ad with the title, “Doesn’t this just make you angry?” followed by tweets supporting their campaign. The Advertising Standards Authority ordered that Cell C remove the radio advert.




Cell C


Yesterday, MTN responded with the double page spread (top of page). It reads:


Dear Cell C. You are right.


You said we are making billions, and that is correct. We are also guilty of investing 83% of those billions, back into South Africa. We’re guilty of inventing PayAsYouGo, a world-first product that opened the world of cellular connectivity to South Africans from all walks of life, instead of just the wealthy. We’re also guilty of playing a major role in the success of Africa’s first World Cup. We’re guilty of being a major taxpayer who contributes to the creation of employment for thousands of South Africans. We’re guilty of introducing Mahala calls to South Africa, which forced our competitors to cut their prices. We’re guilty of not wanting to fight with you, because there are millions of South Africans that we’d rather fight for.


We believe they deserve better. They deserve a network that works. A network that hardly ever drops their calls. A network that offers access to world-class Internet, all across our country.


A truly South African network that creates lasting infrastructure, investments and even wealth. For everyone.


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