‘Jowly’ Luke Wilson Fronts AT&T’s Specious Ads

After a judge blocked their earlier attempt to respond with a lawsuit, Dallas-based AT&T recently struck back at Verizon’s clever “there’s a map for that” ads — which are themselves a play on the excellent iPhone spots — with a celebrity endorsement from actor Luke Wilson, a Dallas native.

AT&T’s new commercials are clearly misleading. Verizon was pointing to its superiority in 3G (data) coverage and Wilson answers by talking about AT&T’s voice network. But isn’t Slate‘s ad report card getting unnecessarily rough when it raises the issue of Wilson’s weight?

There was a time when Luke Wilson was every bit the indie darling that Page and Deschanel are now. Remember the Bottle Rocket era, when Luke and brother Owen seemed to hail from a far-off universe of lanky, windblown mojo? Lately, Wilson’s taken to co-starring in Jessica Simpson vehicles. I might have shed a tear once, long ago, over Wilson’s descent into quotidian commerce. But now this celebrity sellout moment just leaves me puzzled–not saddened. Wilson is clearly, to use my editor’s phrase, on the “downward trajectory.” … It makes me want to grab Luke Wilson by his tweed lapels and shout, “You’re making a straw man argument, you jowly sellout!”

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