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Continental Modifies TV Ads After Other Carriers Cry Foul

October 30, 1987|ROBERT E. DALLOS | Times Staff Writer

Continental Airlines has agreed to modify its commercial that boasted that other carriers, including American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines, used Continental to perform major maintenance work on their airplanes.

American and United last week demanded that the television networks yank the ads, which showed a Continental maintenance crew changing a tire on an American plane.

The other airlines agreed that Continental did routine maintenance at stations where these carriers had no mechanics. No major maintenance work was done by Continental, they said.

The ad said, in part, that "24 major airlines contracted with us to help them do their maintenance. United, Delta, Federal Express--even American. It's a reputation we're proud of and you can see why."

The airlines yelled foul, charging that the ads were deceptive. America and United said they do far more maintenance for Continental that it does for them.

Continental said Thursday that the networks declined to pull the ads, but asked for a change. At the request of CBS and NBC, Continental agreed to add a five-second printed message superimposed on the screen at the end of the commercial. It states: "On-call and emergency maintenance performed for United at 11 airports; Delta, 5; Federal Express, 5; American, 11." The rest of the ad is to remain the same.

Continental said that it views the compromise as a victory, saying, "We're pleased that American's and United's attempt to use their economic influence at the networks failed."

American and United said they are satisfied with the change in the ads.

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