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Visa Agrees To Change Telluride Commercial

October 27, 1993

TELLURIDE, Colo. (AP) _ Visa USA, yielding some ground in the latest round of the credit-card wars, says it will change a television commercial that implies American Express cards are not welcome in the Telluride ski resort.

Visa USA agreed to drop some scenes and phrases from the commercial. In exchange, American Express Co. dropped a lawsuit it filed last week in U.S. District Court in New York to try to force Visa to withdraw the ad, an American Express senior vice president, Michael O’Neill, said Wednesday.

The lawsuit said the ad was misleading because it implied American Express was not accepted anywhere in Telluride, when most businesses in the town accept the card. The Telluride ski area, however, only accepts Visa.

American Express has been aggressively challenging Visa advertisements that feature establishments that don’t take American Express.

Brad Hennig of Visa said the re-edited spots will replace all references to ″Telluride″ and ″Telluride ski resort″ with a reference to ″Telluride Ski Mountain.″ He said the new ads will be broadcast starting Saturday and will run through late February.

The ads’ debut on television coincides with the start of the ski season in Colorado. At least two resorts have opened over the last week.

Mike Shim-Konis, communications director for Telluride Ski Co., said Visa’s advertising campaign featuring the resort will continue.

″In fact, it plans to break two more spots with the same theme on MTV next month,″ Shim-Konis said. ″All this publicity will cause more people to watch the commercials, which is good for Telluride.″

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