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Judge orders halt to Cablevision ads lampooning Verizon

The Cablevision Systems Corp. headquarters in Bethpage on

The Cablevision Systems Corp. headquarters in Bethpage on Nov. 19, 2010. Photo Credit: Bloomberg News / Jin Lee

A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order to halt advertising from Cablevision Systems Inc. that calls rival Verizon Communications Inc. a "liar."

U.S. District Court Judge Gary R. Brown in Central Islip, in a ruling Monday, enjoined Bethpage-based Cablevision beginning Friday from running the ads, which characterized Verizon as being untruthful about its Wi-Fi speeds.

Susan Retta, Verizon vice president of consumer marketing, praised the ruling in a statement, saying that Cablevision sought "to keep accurate and factual information away from consumers."

A Cablevision representative said Wednesday, "Cablevision is absolutely permitted to tell the truth to consumers about FiOS' inferiority, so we are going to continue doing that anywhere and everywhere we can."

The commercials by Cablevision, which owns Newsday, spoof western, science fiction and kung fu movies, and depict a character representing Verizon's FiOS service who is confronted by a hero representing Cablevision's Optimum service.

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