Virgin Air files suit against Steve Hall and his blog adrants.

I have lost yet another bet. See, I thought for sure that the first lawsuit to be heard in front of a jury involving blogs & big corporations would be a photo distribution company against one of the millions of blogs that post images without permission. C&D orders have been flying around the web in cases like that for as long as I can remember but no trial by jury yet.

So imagine my surprise when this "proper" suit filed is about an advertising parody on Adrants - one depicting Flight 1549 stranded in the Hudson with the smirky tag that one should try flying Virgin Air instead. This parody is very much on tone of the actual Virgin Air campaign, but Virgin didn't like it one bit. Cityfile.com has a scanned iPaper for those who would like to read it - but don't bother emailing Adrants about it because the first thing a lawyer tells you is to keep mum and Steve ain't no fool. The suit names Adrants, Steve, Angela and Nina as defendants, was filed January 26 in San Francisco and hangs its pin on "trademark infringement" which spells.... well, it'll be interesting to see what they can do about a parody. They also claim deceptive advertising, and defamation, but I doubt they can prove they suffered economic damages.

Virgin America filed a lawsuit against the advertising blog Adrants.com yesterday over a fake ad the site posted on the day Flight 1549 crashed into the Hudson River. The spoof (left), which appeared below the headline "The Hudson Crash: Just One More Reason to Fly Virgin," was later updated to make it clear the ad was a parody. (It was eventually removed from the site entirely, although you'll find a cached version here.)

Adrants' post read from the start:
"We've seen Virgin turn ugly situations to its advantage before, making it very much in keeping with the Virgin brand persona. The only thing saving the tribute from being in terrifically bad taste is the fact that no one lost his or her life in the crash. So woot! - slather your big reds all over those news shots, V."

Later, Adrants made this update, just to make sure we all knew:
"UPDATE: Clearly, this ad is fake. A spoof. Virgin America has confirmed this. We were always suspect from he get go and didn't mean to mislead or misrepresent. So we'll clearly state now: the ad is a spoof. It's not real. Virgin America had nothing to do with its creation."

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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