AT&T Issue Briefs

Our issue briefs provide additional details on topics identified as most important by our stakeholders. View all the issue briefs on the Reporting Library for a comprehensive overview or choose an issue in the drop-down menu.

 


ESG Material Issues
Responsible marketing; Advertising & offer transparency

ESG Material Issues
Responsible marketing; Advertising & offer transparency

 

 

Our Position

 

We believe a brand that puts people first must develop marketing messages, offers and advertising for products and services that earn and maintain customers’ trust. Responsible marketing should represent a diverse and inclusive audience and should contain clear, concise and accurate content. 


 

 

Our Action

As one of the largest advertisers in the U.S., AT&T strives to create marketing messages that accurately represent society as well as our products and services. 

As stated in the AT&T Code of Business Conduct, we succeed in the marketplace by competing aggressively but fairly. Our products and services stand on their own merits. We do not misrepresent the characteristics of our products and services, and we do not deceive our customers or engage in any other unfair practices. AT&T’s Global Marketing Officer oversees worldwide corporate brand marketing for AT&T Inc., including advertising, corporate communications, events and sponsorships. 

Consumer Marketing
AT&T’s consumer marketing organization – led by the Executive Vice President and General Manager – Mobility Marketing and the Executive Vice President and General Manager – Broadband and Voice Marketing – contributes to the creation of offers and pricing and is responsible for developing the go-to-market strategy for consumer services and products, such as wireless connectivity and broadband internet delivered via AT&T Fiber. The consumer marketing organization is also responsible for creating meaningful connections for customers through entertainment platforms such as HBO Max and partner offerings like DIRECTV and DIRECTV Stream. 1 1 In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein.

Our limited-time offers and marketing campaigns are designed to provide customers with differentiated options in the marketplace and to stimulate sales through unique and promotional discounts, pricing, features or add-ons. Our consumer marketing organization is focused on communicating our customer value proposition through the AT&T brand and demonstrating how we’re able to tailor and elevate customer experiences. 

When creating new offers, AT&T’s consumer marketing and advertising organizations work with agencies that bring the offer’s value to life. They also collaborate with internal brand and legal teams to ensure we are consistent with AT&T’s voice and position in the marketplace and in compliance with advertisement practices that protect consumers – including practices to eliminate deceptive advertising. 

Throughout the process, we ensure our advertising creative and value proposition messaging aligns with the offer and that the offer is clearly and plainly represented. Once finalized, the marketing strategy and offer details are communicated widely to all consumer-facing sales, direct marketing channels and customer service organizations – such as call center agents and representatives in our retail stores and authorized agent locations. 

After an offer has gone to market, we incorporate feedback from our call center agents and retail associates, as well as analysis from our customer experience and business analytics teams, into decision-making for future offers. If needed, we adjust messaging for an active offer to ensure it is clear for customers and sales representatives. 

Customers with questions or concerns can reach us online or at 1-800-331-0500. And information on our Terms of Service is posted on our Legal Policy Center

Business Marketing

In AT&T’s business marketing organization, channel marketing and marketing communications teams collaborate to identify opportunities for new services and promotions that address the needs of business customers – whether local, national or global in scale. Services provided to business customers include mobility, wireline technologies, Internet of Things, fiber-based internet and networking services, security solutions, voice and collaboration platforms, and other cloud-based offerings. Our Senior Vice President – Business Marketing leads AT&T’s business marketing organization and reports to the CEO – AT&T Business, a part of AT&T Communications. 

We align the process for creation of new offers, advertising and product/feature launches to the practices of our consumer marketing organization. However, with regard to business marketing, we target our approach based on: 

  • Customer segmentation (small and medium business, enterprise and global business, and wholesale) 
  • Industry focus, such as Manufacturing, Transportation, Healthcare, Retail, Finance, Government and Education 
  • Delivery channels (direct sales, indirect partners, retail, call center and digital) 

Proper segmentation with an industry focus enables teams to gain a deep understanding of client needs and to offer the best networking solutions for their clients’ operations – with proper channel support that allows us to meet our customers where they do business. 

For details on our business offers and services, including industry-specific solutions, visit AT&T Business. Business customers with questions or concerns can reach us at  AT&T Business Support

Equality in Marketing

AT&T’s overall marketing approach begins with the diverse composition of our teams. The AT&T Inclusion Playbook informs a nonbiased approach to creating content and respects the entire spectrum of diversity – including gender and cultures as well as the LGBTQ+ population, veterans and those with accessibility needs. The Inclusion Playbook provides thought starters to help content creation teams accurately portray people and eliminate inclusion gaps in AT&T content. Designed as a tool for decreasing bias in content and increasing innovation in ad copy testing, this program was recognized by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) for leading positive change. 

We surpassed the ANA #SeeHer initiative’s 2020 goal to increase the accurate portrayal of women and girls in media by 20% in 2018 – 2 years early – and AT&T committed to #SeeHer’s new 2025 and 2030 goals. In 2019, our measured advertising surpassed #SeeHer’s 2025 milestone. And in 2021, our process changes and focus enabled us to continue portraying women and girls accurately. 

AT&T’s Advertising organization, led by our Senior Vice President – Advertising, is responsible for creating campaigns reflecting the needs of business and consumer customers, as well as the value and reputation of our brand. We encourage our ad agencies to cast and hire diverse talent both in front of and behind the camera. During creative development and production, we work to ensure our messaging resonates with our diverse consumer group. For example, the AT&T Fiber advertising team meets with the Black Marketing & Advertising Council monthly to review and incorporate the council’s feedback on creative content. 

Read more on our AT&T Diversity, Equity & Inclusion website. 

Customer Data Privacy

Data helps us create more reliable products and services, improve security and detect fraud, and provide customers with customized offers. Customers also count on AT&T to protect their information and respect their privacy. We take this responsibility seriously and work hard to maintain customers’ trust. 

We provide our customers with information – and choices – about how their data might be used. We publicly post privacy policies to educate consumers on the information we collect through our products and services and our policies for obtaining proper consent to use such information. This includes compliance with regional consumer privacy regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). To help customers understand our practices, we describe our approach to privacy and data use in simple language and provide a consolidated resource for privacy policies, rights and questions at the AT&T Privacy Center and Xandr Privacy Center . 2 2 In December 2021, we entered into an agreement with Microsoft to sell our programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory reviews. The Privacy Centers include details on the types of information collected; how information is collected, used and shared within the companies and with third parties; how it is secured; and how long it is kept. For more information, see our Privacy issue brief. 

Customers can restrict AT&T’s use of their Customer Proprietary Network Information for the purposes of receiving offers about new types of products and services from the AT&T family of companies. For more information, visit the Customer Proprietary Network Information  website. 

Customers also have the ability to manage how they want to be contacted by AT&T, including opting out of telemarketing calls and emails. When building marketing campaigns, AT&T honors a consumer’s request to be added to AT&T’s internal Do Not Call list – in addition to the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call list and various state Do Not Call lists, as appropriate. For more information, visit the National Do Not Call Registry