T-Mobile’s cameo in HBO’s “True Detective” reflects America’s wireless history

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Close watchers of HBO drama TrueDetective may have been surprised to see T-Mobile figure into this week’s episode. After all, the wireless carrier is a relatively young and only recently fashionable brand in the United States, and the television scenes in question are set in 2002.

Was it another piece of clever marketing from the so-called “un-carrier,” which has been employing unorthodox tactics in its quest to shake up America’s wireless industry?

It wasn’t. HBO has a longstanding policy against paid product placements. Jeff Cusson, a spokesman for the premium cable network, told Quartz that no money changed hands with T-Mobile for the True Detective cameo. All products and companies included in HBO shows, he wrote in an email, come from “the creative mind of a writer or director.”  T-Mobile was considered an authentic brand for the time and setting of the episode, he said.

So how accurate is…

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