Feeds

back to article 'Please, steal my phone' TV ads by T-Mobile US slammed by legal eagles

A new ad campaign launched by US wireless carrier T-Mobile has drawn the ire of top prosecutors in two cities, who claim the TV spot is offensive and belittles the problem of smartphone theft. In the ad, former Saturday Night Live cast member Bill Hader is seen walking through a parking garage, where he is accosted by mugger who …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge
Devil

I agree - NOT funny

Not because it's "offensive", but because it's what's know in the business as "shit"

8
5
Silver badge

Re: I agree - NOT funny

Indeed. All that came to mind when I watched the video was "embarrassment".

0
0
Bronze badge
Coat

i thought it was a lumia advert.....

I'll get my coat....

P.

2
0
Facepalm

Something tells me these prosecutors don't spend a lot of time surfing the internet. Hell you can find far more 'offensive' material on YouTube. The Register's forums would be rampant with offensive content if it were not for its overzealous moderators. Curse them.

1
1

Messrs. Gascón and Schneiderman need to get a sense of humor.

Or quaaludes.

5
0
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Re: Messrs. Gascón and Schneiderman need to get a sense of humor.

That would require some hefty medical bills as it was surgically removed in order to pass the bar exam. It's a crappy world in which lawyers are allowed to define what constitutes humor.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Can't be any worse than the Sprint ad where a phone is being used as a crime deterrent.

youtube.com/watch?v=86OowfGkSwQ

2
0

Armed bodyguards with every contract?

"It's time for telecommunications giants such as T-Mobile to step up and make meaningful progress towards implementing safeguards that protect consumers against these violent thefts,"

It's not like an individuals welfare is thier own responsibility.....

8
1
Silver badge
Alert

Re: Armed bodyguards with every contract?

Following on from "...It's time for telecommunications giants such as T-Mobile to step up and make meaningful progress towards implementing safeguards that protect consumers against these violent thefts...", the vast majority of muggers prefer cash to mobiles of almost any type.

Since the production of cash is a government monopoly, should that statement not read "It's time for governments to step up and make meaningful progress towards implementing safeguards that protect consumers against these violent thefts,"

5
0
Silver badge

Please, it was nearly a year ago when all four major US carriers, including T-Mobile, started a stolen phone database because of mobile phone theft. Now most stolen phones are quickly shifted out of the country so naturally the siren call is to have a remote kill feature without considering how easy it is to defeat. All the would be thief needs to do is carry a metalized pouch to slip the phone in moments after nicking it killing any signals intended to track, brick or wipe said phone allowing the thief to drop it in the post to another country at his leisure. I'm assuming the attorneys general have never heard of a Faraday cage and aren't particularly interested in learning. I'll wager they also aren't particularly interested in the mobile phone that was stolen in a far off land and is being used here in the US even if it was originally nicked from the grandmother of their tax free nanny.

I'm thinking the only way to truly brick a phone is to have it set to auto-destruct if a passcode isn't entered every so often. But let's be honest, how many people forget to plug in often enough never mind willing to risk a tamagotchiPhone from committing seppuku by shorting or puncturing its lithium battery? Although it would probably sell great as a game.

0
1
Silver badge

I thought the standard practice was to pop the cover and remove the battery. This removes the need for the metallized bag and ALSO prevents the tripping of vigilance control that could still work without a signal (since they can be time-based). In addition, it allows for the swap-in of a new SIM that further distorts the original phone's identity.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"I thought the standard practice was to pop the cover and remove the battery."

That could be quite hard to do on an iPhone and several other phones that have opted for non-removable batteries.

3
0
Silver badge

"take steps to reduce theft" = put a back door in your phone so the authorities can remotely wipe it, or presumably make more subtle changes if they prefer.

1
1
Bronze badge

Users can take steps themselves

Use a pincode/swipe gesture to lock the screen. Another pincode to lock the sim.

Install something like Comodo Mobile Security, which allows for remote wiping, remote lock, remote capture via the camera, phone finding, sim change alerts, and even set of an alarm remotely.

People are willing to lock their cars, houses and computers. Something that stores as much sensitive data as a smartphone should be treated the same. Anyone who doesnt, is a fool.

0
0
Megaphone

I have a question for these morality crusaders.....

This is nothing. How about the rest of the casual violence/degeneracy shown on TV? Glorifying bank robbers , murders, rapists (well at lease theses guys usually die or get arrested). Nobody seems to gives a fuck about the show content, why just hack on advertisers? These "moral cops" are useless and just out for press time. Now how about Hollywood? Noooo... "let's just go after some large corp, everyone's been trained to hate them!" </rant>

13
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: I have a question for these morality crusaders.....

TVs come with an off button you know.

1
1
Silver badge
Joke

Re: I have a question for these morality crusaders.....

Oh? I thought they took that out some time back. I know mine's broken. And since unplugging it can surge the set and break it, they'll find out eventually.

1
0

Re: I have a question for these morality crusaders.....

Happily, TV has also taught us that almost any crime, no matter how convoluted or how long ago it was committed, can be solved in less than an hour* by using a montage sequence / holographic reconstruction / 'reformed' serial killer / psychic consultant or almost anyone with OCD.

(*except in Scandinavia, where it takes approximately forever, but with better backing music)

5
0

I saw this...

... on holiday very recently. I just thought this was par for the course as far as American ads were concerned.

0
0

This sort of happened to me......

...in Bristol, many moons ago (2001?).

I was walking through the Bearpit, when a huge guy on a (comparatively) tiny BMX came up and demanded my phone. I sighed, he put his hand in his coat pocket threateningly, I explained that I wasn't going to give him any problems, it was just a PITA.

"Actually," I continued, "do you mind if I just pull the SIM - that's not what you're after and it's got all my numbers on it..." He acquiesced, so I pulled the phone out and began the process.

"Hang on, mate... What's that?" "An Ericsson T39", I replied. "Oh, you're alright then...." he tutted and began to cycle off.

I was indignant - for it's day, it was a seriously nice bit of kit. I didn't chase after him, but I did enquire as to why he didn't want it. "Only after Nokias, geez; can't get the chargers for those..." he answered over his shoulder as he rode off.

Saved by a proprietary charger, hoorah! :-)

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Sounds like a decent thief (if there is such a thing) allowing you to take the sim out first!

1
0
Anonymous Coward

THIS IS A DISGRACE!!!!!!

MORE THAN HALF THE POPULATION OF THIS PLANET IS FEMALE BUT THIS ADVERT TOTALLY IGNORES THE FACT!!!! FROM WHERE ARE YOUNG GIRLS GOING TO FIND ROLE MODELS IN THIS TYPE OF TRASH???? WHY DOESN'T THIS ADVERT SHOW A FEMALE MUGGER??? YET AGAIN THE MALE HEGEMONY SERVES TO PERPETUATE THE ''WOMEN CAN'T DO THAT'' MYTH!!!

10
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: THIS IS A DISGRACE!!!!!!

PMSL.

New pants please!

Nice one!

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Based on reality

Over much arguing, the only phone I will provide for my 17 year old is an old Nokia 5800. My reasoning being he is a fucking kid, and (a) never looks after anything (even stuff he's paid for) and (b) never ever listens to adult advice (such as not to wave your phone out every 5 minutes).

A couple of months ago he was walking through a local park when a couple of hooded youths stopped him, asked the time (I mean really !?) and then demanded his phone. As soon as they saw what is was they went "no man, dat's a sick phone, we don't want none of your Nokia shit man!"[1] and fucked off. To (according to the policeman who took his statement) mug someone else for their Blackberry a few minutes later.

Much to lads chagrin, policeman praised my attitude in ensuring lad didn't have a mug-magnet phone.

[1]This is what lad claimed they said. I guess people really do talk like that. Innit ?

4
0
Headmaster

Re: Based on reality

From my experience of ‘da yoof’ I would suggest that while what you said is true, it might have been the phone was described as ‘shit’ not ‘sick’ as ‘sick’, like ‘wicked’ is the same as bad in the MJ way, not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good. The word ‘bad’ has actually reverted to meaning bad, as in the opposite of good.

Shit however still means shit, unless it is ‘shit-hot’ in which case it is trendy, however the word ‘trendy’ is not trendy, but lame and not cool, much the same as the word cool, which should be replaced with ‘sweet’ which means good, like ‘sick’.

3
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

@Maharg Re: Based on reality

I wish I could upvote that twice.

2
0
Holmes

Note to self

remember to tell my kids what strangers "asking the time" actually means, and how to deal with it.

0
0
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Note to self

Ok, what does it mean?

0
0
Bronze badge

Cmon

This was funny. Wasnt there an advert years ago doing something similar?

It makes light of a phone being so old people wouldnt even want to steal it. It really takes the desire to be offended to think this is promoting phone theft.

For those so delicate to have broken their funny bone or even their common sense, grow up. You may or may not like the advert but the same is said for all.

2
0

Re: Cmon

I send your comments... its a phone advert... I've seen better, but I've sure seen worse! Hell, it made me smile... that reminds me, must upgrade my phone.... where's the nearest 3 store!

1
0

Let me get this straight, we can't joke about any crime where anyone gets hurt? Remember Woody Allen's funny scene where he tries to rob a bank but his ransom notes says "I have a gub?" How about in Raising Arizona where he robs a convenience store for diapers then ends up having to flee on foot from the armed cashier, the police, and a pack of dogs? I guess these aren't funny because bank and convenience store robberies are serious and dangerous problems. I shutter to think how lame the world becomes if all humor has to be so bland not to offend anyone. Also, are victims of smartphone theft even bothered by this add? Has anyone actually asked them or are we on such a quest to not offend that we needlessly self-censor ourselves?

2
0
Silver badge

yes.

You'll note that it was a 100% non-violent theft, or rather lack-of-theft. or denial-of-theft.

0
0
Bronze badge

Remember Woody Allen's funny scene where he tries to rob a bank but his ransom notes says "I have a gub?"

In Take the Money and Run, a mocumentary about a career criminal. Presumably Gascón and Schneiderman find the whole film offensive.

Which is a shame, because it contains, in passing, a great IT joke. Virgil, trying to go straight, is interviewing for a job with an insurance firm:

Interviewer: "Have you ever used a digital electronic computer?"

Virgil: "Yes."

Interviewer: "And where was that?"

Virgil: "My aunt has one."

It's a beautiful scene, because it's funny now for exactly the opposite reason it was funny in 1969.

0
0

lol tbh I thought it was kinda funny :)

0
0

Funniest joke in the world

Apparently one of the funniest jokes in the world, as in the one which is able to be translated easily and was funny in the most languages and cultures is one based on a Goon Show sketch about two hunters.

If you don’t know the joke it goes like this.

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed.

The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He says, "My friend is dead! What can I do?"

The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."

There is a silence for a moment, then a gun shot.

Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?

Now if that joke that most people in the world find amusing, or at least ‘get the joke’ and in that joke someone dies, twice, and violently, and that joke was ok to be broadcast on the radio by the BBC in the 1950s, then I think the people saying this advert is hurtful in some way need a reality check.

1
0

Just some lawyers trying to make a name for themselves and wasting everyone's time and money in the process..

Just more proof that we need less lawyers!!!

As the old joke goes... What do you call 50,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean ?... A good start :-)

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.