With the Summer heating up and the economy moving like sluggish sewage in July, Advertising Age reports that the Summer of 2009 is going to be "cruel." Reminds me of Bananarama.
According to Adage.com:
Attack ads have been on the rise for the past year, but comparisons are getting sharper, responses are growing testier, and an increasing number of ad battles are ending up in court. Just don't expect a letup, because they're also working.
If you decide to run an attack ad, Ad Age has provided helpful tips to keep agencies out of trouble. (It's almost as if Ad Age is egging on agencies for a Summer of heated battles to alleviate boredom..."Here! Take this knife!" Hmm.)
However, it's good advice. Sara Lee filed suit against Kraft Foods last week over taste test ads between Oscar Mayer and Sara Lee's Ball Park Franks. According to Sara Lee, Ball Park Franks have suffered a blow from which they will never recover. (Now THAT's advertising!) Unfortunately for Sara Lee's legal team, Ball Park is outselling Oscar Mayer in grocery stores nationwide. My guess is that this case will be over before it starts. (Please keep in mind that I am not a legal analyst.)
Luckily, Advertising Age does have access to a legal team, and below are their tips to stay out of trouble (and I have also embellished on their recommendations):
1. Don't name your competitor
Just make it brutally obvious who they are.
2. Stay positive
You could say "You'll save money at Joe's coffee." Or you could be honest: "One cup at Bobs place, or a weeks worth at Joe's. You decide."
3. Back it up with science
Numbers are very useful for making your point. Manipulate.
4. Have a contingency plan
If you get sued, release the most offensive spot. They've already sued, what's next, name calling?
5. Don't steal your competitor's claims.
As if! Belittle their claims, cast them in false light, but don't steal them.