'This is New England, where people tell it straight," says Boston-born TV star Donnie Wahlberg in a new commercial for FiOS, Verizon's cable television and Internet service. "No phonies, no fakers, no shortcuts."
The commercial, titled "Here's The Truth about FiOS in Massachusetts," features Wahlberg standing before the Hancock Tower, Trinity Church, and in Charlestown near the Bunker Hill Monument.
But here's another truth about FiOS: You can't get it in Copley Square. Actually, you can't get it anywhere in Boston. While the service is prevalent in the suburbs, Verizon Communications Inc. has said it is too costly to wire the city for FiOS, leaving Comcast and tiny RCN as the only cable providers for 650,000 residents.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino has spent many fruitless years cajoling Verizon to bring its service to Boston, which explains why he sounded somewhere between flabbergasted and outraged when asked about the ad on Monday.
"I think they should put in big letters in the ad, 'We do not serve Boston. But we're using Boston as a backdrop, because Boston is a great city,' " Menino said.
Meanwhile, Verizon apparently doesn't appreciate the irony: "We wanted Donnie to represent us because people know him as a no-nonsense, honest, and likable guy," said Verizon spokesman Phil Santoro.
The good news for the Dorchester-born Wahlberg, who first achieved fame for being in the boy band New Kids on the Block, is that he is "a satisfied customer" of FiOS, Santoro said, and when in Massachusetts can also get FiOS at his relatives' home in Hingham.