Goldstein Points to Advertising Litigation Trend in New York Times
“Best Soup Ever? Suits Over Ads Demand Proof”New York Times
November 22, 2009 - Linda A. Goldstein, chair of Manatt’s firmwide Advertising, Marketing & Media Division, was interviewed for a front-page article in the New York Times’ Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, edition. The article, “Best Soup Ever? Suits Over Ads Demand Proof,” reports on an increasingly competitive marketplace for brands and a record number of complaints this year over ads from competitors filed with the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the industry’s main self-regulatory program for national ads. There have been 82 formal complaints so far in 2009, after last year’s record of 84 challenges, a sharp increase from 62 in 2007 and 52 in 2006.
In the Times piece, Goldstein, who represents clients in advertising disputes, said such disputes had become part of a “war game” for marketers.
“How brands will deal with their competitors’ advertisements is an increasingly important component of the overall marketing strategy,” she said. “When we’re sitting with clients, we will explore lots of permutations, whether it’s offensively or defensively.”
Filing a complaint with the National Advertising Division is cheaper than a lawsuit, costing $2,500 to $20,000, according to the Times. The downside is that the program is voluntary and it has no legal power. By going to court, Goldstein said in the article, companies can file for an injunction and get the ads stopped within days, versus the two to three months that the voluntary process takes.
“If there’s a true injury to market share, then going to court may be a more desirable alternative,” Goldstein told the Times.
Click here to read the New York Times article.
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