Business - Written by Brendan Peat on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 12:54 - 1 Comment
Subway sues Quiznos over User Generated Ads
There was a great piece in the New York Times about how Subway is suing Quiznos over the ads that their customers created in a contest the ran called the “Quiznos vs. Subway TV Ad Challenge”. Apparently “many of the homemade videos made false claims and depicted its brand in a derogatory way. Subway is also objecting to ads that Quiznos itself created, showing people on the street choosing Quiznos over Subway.” So now companies are suing each other over the opinions expressed by their customers? What is next, Subway suing customers for talking about Quiznos subs while within 100 feet of a Subway store.
The website has since been taken down but you can view the winning video here. Quiznos take on the whole thing seems simple enough “We’re just facilitating consumers who go out and create their own expression in the form of a commercial,” said Ronald Y. Rothstein, a partner at Winston & Strawn, on behalf Quiznos.
Now, I don’t pretend to grasp the legal intricacies of corporate advertising but from what I have understand ads that contain ‘slanderous statements and false claims’ are supposed to be off limits. However, from what I have observed as a consumer doesn’t seem to be that cut and dry. Coke and Pepsi used to run blind taste test about which was better, Bud and Miller Lite continuously state they taste better than the each other, and what about the Mac ads? They are hilarious but I would think they have to be pushing the boundaries with the whole Vista sucks by a Mac angle in their latest campaign.
Personally it would make more sense to me if the lawsuit was aimed only at the ads Quiznos created and maybe the way the instructed customers to portray their subs as being better, but to sue over user generated content seems a little odd. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Hopefully it won’t kill this type of engaging and entertaining advertising that allows companies to connect with their customers and spice up the marketing industry.
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