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Verizon Ad: Verizon Wireless Covers 30 More Countries Than There Are in the World

Consumerist alerts us to this gem of a Verizon Wireless ad: The Verizon guy, backed by a parade of suitably ‘exotic’ people from foreign countries, proclaims the company’s coverage of more than 220 countries. “The world is calling. Answer it. With Verizon Wireless, you can call and text in more than 220 countries.” Too bad just about every estimate pegs the number of countries in the world at fewer than 200:

The definition of a country can be a little murky: The United Nations recognizes 192 member states. National Geographic puts it at 193; World Atlas cites estimates as high as 195.

Now: Verizon Wireless has since responded to Consumerist’s inquiries with an explanation which includes territories, but some of the numbers seem fishy — for instance, it breaks China into four distinct zones, which is fine from a carrier’s point of view, but it’s odd to consider “Macau” and “Mainland China” two separate “countries” when both the U.S. and the U.N. agree that Macau is a part of China. “220 other countries and territories” may not have sounded as catchy when they were doing the copywriting, but an asterisk and a note at the bottom about their definitions would’ve probably been a better way to go: The Internet has a way for hunting down and picking apart stats it doesn’t like, particularly when they come from large corporations.

(Consumerist via BuzzFeed)

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