It's an annual tradition of sorts that AT&T spreads a little holiday sweetness to policymakers, journalists and others the telecom behemoth works with throughout the year and National Journal's tech reporters and the Alley received a dozen Georgetown Cupcakes -- complete with AT&T logo -- this morning.
Last year, AT&T spent almost $4,000 delivering 133 boxes of cupcakes to its regulators at the FCC. No word yet where the cupcakes went this year, a call to an AT&T spokesman was not immediately returned. But we'll update the post when we hear back.
UPDATE: An AT&T spokesman referred me to a fairly lengthy blog post defending the company tradition. SVP Bob Quinn writes on the company's policy blog:
The simple fact is that Holiday treats (cookies for years and now cupcakes) is just a way to say thank you and Happy Holidays to a lot of folks with whom we work at the Commission and in the industry 52 weeks a year.Our team is at the agency almost every day on regulatory matters. In addition to work we do in open proceedings, we file tariffs, respond to complaints, answer inquiries, participate on panels and at workshops, and coordinate calendars with administrative assistants. We also participate in appeals - sometimes in support of the agency, sometimes in opposition. And we go through security downstairs and are greeted by security guards on the eighth floor. In short, we regularly work with and rely on scores of FCC employees who make the agency run. And outside the agency, we are on panels in Washington and across the country with friends and opponents alike and regularly speak with our friends in the press. A cupcake is simply a small way of saying thank you for the patience, courtesy and professionalism that is shown our team throughout the year. So, despite the fact that some may still object or complain, we are going to continue our tradition.
The company also made a $5,000 donation to two charities that help the less fortunate, Quinn notes.
Photo credit: Rick Bloom