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Lawsuit

Chobani Claims That No One Owns the Word ‘How’

During last year’s Super Bowl, Chobani and its ad agency Droga5 told us that “how matters.” It was a brilliant Chipotle-style CSR call-to-arms that led, in part, to speculation that the company will soon go public.

Now author/ethics consultant Dov Seidman and his lawyers want to make that filing process a bit more difficult.

Seidman, whose best-selling book bore the title How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything and an introduction by no less than Bill Clinton, filed suit against both agency and client yesterday for “trademark and service mark infringement and unfair competition.”

For some reason, he seems to think that the campaign might have been related to his book…

Interestingly, Seidman’s company LRN retweeted the message above before declaring it to be lawsuit-worthy. A little extra explanation after the jump.

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PRCA Wins Big Legal Victory Over Newspaper Distributors in Europe

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BREAKING: PR has triumphed over media in the UK. Well, sort of.

The not-quite-shocking conclusion reached by The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg holds that web surfers can Google and click to their hearts’ content without the permission of whoever holds the copyrights for the content they see.

Does this make sense to you?

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Dan Marino: ‘Sue the NFL? Not Me!’

Dolphins Dan Marino

Even the greats need crisis comms help. 

Poor Dan Marino. Poor, hapless, no-Super-Bowl-ring-earning, Hall-of-Fame-jacket-wearing, no-clue-having Dan Marino.

I sure hope all that tackle football didn’t mess with his head like it did to his former colleagues in the class-action lawsuit brought against the NFL. According to court documents filed last week in Philadelphia, Marino joined 14 other former players in filing the newest federal case.

Upon hearing the news, Dan Marino quickly disputed his status as poster boy for the suit, which alleges that the former players never got the facts about concussions in the NFL.

To wit, he said, “Count me out, bro.”

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Another Donald Sterling Lawsuit: Different Chick; Same Shtick

Donald Sterling

I’m fat and happy. Thanks, NBA!

Just when you thought the world would leave accused serial bigot, philanderer and new billionaire Donald Sterling alone comes this report (from TMZ, no less).

Apparently, Donald Sterling has a history of racist commentary and sexual harassment.

It feels like only yesterday when one V. Stiviano adopted the persona of a Daft Punk backup dancer, recorded Sterling re-enacting a scene from ‘American History X’, and proceed to help the NBA  make him rich beyond his wildest dreams force him to sell the LA Clippers. That was a forced hurl off the cliff into a sea of prejudicial despair.

But, as we hear in game shows, there’s more…

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Alleged Bigot Sues Red Lobster, Waitress for Accusing Him of Bigotry

red lobsterLast September, Toni Christina Jenkins was waiting tables at her local Red Lobster in Tennessee when some jackleg fool left an unfortunate, highly racist note in the tip section instead of money (pictured in its original NSFW fashion after the jump).

To wit, Jenkins posted it on Facebook and the thing went viral faster that the flu. And for her efforts to “show that racism was still alive and well,” she was suspended from her job for “violating the company’s policy prohibiting the posting of receipts online.”

Stay classy, Red Lobster.

Anywho, things went very well for Jenkins but the guy who allegedly went all backwoods trailer park on her receipt is suing Red Lobster — and Ms. Jenkins — for $1 million. His claim: She did it.

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‘Distruptive’ Startups Refine Their Strategies for Working with Regulators

airbnbAirbnb’s executives have decided that the free market doesn’t trump the law and that the rules do apply to them after all.

The details have been reported elsewhere, but the decision is a big deal for startups (and their investors/promoters) that might eventually run up against those pesky things we call legal regulations.

The big questions to be answered–and the ones that most concern these startups’ advisory and PR teams–are “how should ’distruptive’ businesses be regulated” and “what’s the best way for them to work within/around existing regulations?”

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Jury Rules Against Former Anheuser-Busch Comms Veep in Equal Pay Case

BEER BEER BEER

Surprise, surprise: Jill Abramson isn’t the only woman in a prominent executive position who *allegedly* received less money than her male predecessors.

In a case that should draw the attention of all who work in corporate communications, a jury ruled that Francine Katz, who was promoted to VP of comms and public affairs at Anheuser-Busch back in 2002, did not receive unfair wages due to the fact that she happens to be a woman.

For the record, Katz strongly disagrees.

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Kellogg Agrees: ‘All-Natural’ Means Absolutely Nothing

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Earlier this week, The New York Times columnist/nutritionist/penultimate “foodie” Mark Bittman wrote an op-ed about our consumer culture’s over-emphasis on the word “organic.”

His point? Eating better and living healthier lives has very little to do with whether the products one buys are technically organic–even though there’s a clear and important distinction between agricultural practices that qualify and those that don’t. Non-organic lettuce, for example, is far healthier than organic crackers–and the fact that Ben & Jerry’s products hew to certain production standards does not in any way mean that they’re healthy.

When it comes to marketing practices, of course, it’s a different story–and Kellogg is only the latest company to agree (under court order) that the phrase “all-natural” as it exists in the market today is completely meaningless.

Remember Naked Juice?

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Snapchat Admits That It Made Up All That ‘Privacy’ Stuff

snapchatWe’ve known for some time that Snapchat‘s privacy claims don’t quite add up, and today the network and the Federal Trade Commission have reached an agreement on that point.

What does this mean? Basically, Evan Spiegel and company will officially admit that snaps don’t really “disappear forever” (they never did) and that recipients may, in fact, preserve the images/clips indefinitely in several ways without letting the sender know.

Here’s the big one: in addition to the false claims about disappearing snaps, the company also copped to collecting and transmitting user data despite claims to the contrary–and its recent security breach theoretically allowed hackers to collect that data.

Sound familiar?

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Purina in Legal Catfight with Blue Buffalo over False Advertising

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I Can Haz Your Mama! 

In today’s litigious society, advertising and messaging has to be triple-approved and double-verified before it goes public. Otherwise, your agency will get sued.

As noted on Purina’s website, a press release notes that the Blue Buffalo Company tried to tell America that Purina’s food contain animal by-products, corn and other items that its advertising specifically says the company forbids, as noted in FOX Business.

Understanding this is a pimp-slap attack on reputation, Purina took umbrage with this note and told the nation they were throwing down in federal court. Yes, via press release. Yes, this really happened.

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