Lee and Dan and Ted

At the risk of boring the crap out of everyone with yet another take on the suicide bomber viral ad scandal, turns out this isn't the first time Volkswagen has loosed its legal jackals on guys like Lee and Dan.

In 1973, it was National Lampoon that VW had in its sights. All because of this spoof ad the magazine ran. The headline: If Ted Kennedy drove a Volkswagen, he'd be President today.

Is there a difference between then and now? Believe it.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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aiiobo's picture

The big difference between then and now is:

National Lampoon ad = PARODY. The LAW

Dabitch's picture

Well, apparantly VW of the past did sue, see the
Answer Section where National Lampoon savant Mark Simonson says:

That [ad] was in the National Lampoon Encyclopedia of Humor (1973). It's listed in the contents page (under D) as "Doyle Dane Bernbach" and was written by Anne Beatts. If you buy a copy of this issue, you may find the ad is missing. As a result of a lawsuit by VW over the ad for unauthorized use of their trademark, NatLamp was forced to remove the page (with razor blades!) from any copies they still had in inventory (which, from what I gather, was about half the first printing of 250,000 copies) and all subsequent reprints. For what its worth, Ted Kennedy didn't sue.


ernieschenck's picture

Dab, maybe I misunderstood Simonson's quote. I read it as a lawsuit that was filed but since NatLamp got rid of the ad, it didn't go all the way. If I was wrong in that, my apologies.

Dabitch's picture

... I read it as that as well, that VW did file some sort of suit (to protect their Trademark which they should do) and NatLamp did the right thing(tm) and hid the ad.

NatLamp could also have changed the whole VW thing to WV in another similar font and be in the clear, I think, since it was parody. They should have left the trademark (VW) alone in the first place. I wonder what was on the other side of the VW-parody ad page that had to be removed as well when they razorbladed that page out of the mags. :)

ernieschenck's picture

Dab, that would have been the way to go, yes. Just change the VW to WV or something. I guess that would have been enough to ward off the attornies. You would think NatLamp would have thought of that. Or at least that their lawyers would have:)