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AT&T Is Pulling All Retail Ads on Christmas Except This One

Teenage Girl using Cell PhoneTeenage Girl using Cell Phone
A teenage girl using cell phone.Photograph by Media for Medical UIG via Getty Images

This story has been updated to include comment from AT&T.

AT&T (ATT) is pulling its usual TV and social ads for its mobile business on Dec. 24 and Christmas Day.

Instead, the telecommunications company will air just one, exclusive-to-Christmas ad that is a little more sensitive to parents’ rancor toward texting during the holidays.

In the ad, a young girl is seen ignoring her family in favor of her phone while they decorate the house, cut down a tree and spend time together. But in the end, the girl’s gift to her father comes with a voice-over: “This season, give the present of being present.”

This isn’t AT&T’s first commercial that encourages young people to stop using its services. The same firm that produced AT&T’s Christmas ad, BBDO, is behind its campaign against texting-while-driving, called “It Can Wait,” according to AdWeek.

“Smartphones and tablets are a huge part of our lives nowadays, but we have noticed that consumers are expressing the need for a ‘digital detox.’ The holidays are a perfect time to take a digital break and connect with loved ones,” says AT&T Mobility’s executive director of advertising, Meredith Vincent. “We know that our customers love their smartphones, and because of that we provide them an important service on a daily basis. But we saw the opportunity to highlight the benefit of spending quality time with friends and family.”