Virgin America is suing our comrade in arms, Adrants. The suit was filed in federal court yesterday. The focus of the suit is a paragraph of editorial that was paired with a fake ad. The ad read: “The Hudson Crash: Just One More Reason to Fly Virgin.” You can view the entire legal filing below. You can see the cached version of the post here.
The editorial copy read: “We’ve seen Virgin turn ugly situations to its advantage before, making it [the fake advertisement] 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.”
In response to a Virgin America email demanding that the picture be removed, Angela Natividad, a head honcho at Adrants, added this copy above the original post: “UPDATE: Clearly, this ad is fake. A spoof. Virgin America has confirmed this. We were always supect 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.”
This wasn’t enough for Virgin who demanded the posting be removed or they would “escalate the issue.” Seriously… Virgin doesn’t have better things to do? Like, um dealing with their investors who are thinking about abandoning the airline? Talk about wasteful litigation. What does Virgin gain from this action? Adrants surely doesn’t have the cash to make a pay out worth it. The offending material is already off the live site. One could argue this is a deterrent for other sites, but the internet is still the wild, wild West. People are going to do what they like. A best, no one mocks Virgin again and that’s a long shot. At worst, a certain segment of the internet begins to think your brand is seriously lame.
Virgin America is suing for punitive damages and attorneys fees. Think about that for a second – if Adrants has to pay out for such a ridiculous law suit, it could be the end of long standing player in the advertising community.