Imagine for a minute that you’re Exxon. Feels pretty good, doesn’t it? You make so much money every year that numbers don’t even really apply any more. Everyone has to keep buying your product despite the fact that the average dude you stop on the street will say “Oh yeah, of course they personify the phrase ‘soul-sucking corporation’”, and you will always be notorious for overseeing one of the most infamous PR failures of the 20th century.
Now, what do you do if you’re looking for new ways to confirm all the negative stereotypes people hold about you? You get all litigious on the network that airs The League and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, aka the best sitcoms on TV right now, because their logo has two x’s that interlock and everyone knows that your logo also has two x’s that interlock. It’s not rocket science, idiot. As Deadline puts it, you have to protect your brand “from funny shows.”
Our favorite part of the filing is the fact Exxon’s lawyers used internet comments to justify their case. That’s right.
Some guys on some blogs wrote “Exxon is going to be pissed” and “Were they inspired by Exxon?”, so logic dictates that everyone in the world will now think that FX is somehow connected to Exxon. Ipso facto, bro.
Here’s another great example of Exxon’s logic at work in case you forgot: when journalists were snooping around some tiny environmental catastrophe that the company created earlier this year, someone convinced local cops to threaten the muckrakers so no one could see Exxon’s own people trying to soak up the oil spill with paper towels. And then they put their spokesperson in front of the cameras to call these reporters liars for telling others what they’d seen.
We aren’t even all that sympathetic to FXX, because at the beginning of this season we were like “why did you need to start a whole new network and put your most popular shows on that new network, and why do you not let us download the show that we want to pay you for the day after it airs on iTunes?!?!”
But when you’re up against Exxon you’ll always be the good guy. We really hope the company’s reputation management experts warned them not to do this, but past evidence implies that they never listen to anyone else’s advice, so why bother paying for it in the first place?