Friday, January 20, 2006

Viacom, Kellogg threatened with suit in Massachusetts

From Overlawyered:

"Wakefield, Mass., mother Sherri Carlson doesn't like the commercials on the Nickelodeon network or the fact that Nickelodeon characters appear on boxes of cereal that she disapproves of. Thus (helped by a couple of nanny-state activist groups), rather than cancelling her cable bill, turning off the tv, or saying "No" to her three children, she's announced plans to sue Viacom and Kellogg for billions of dollars under Massachusetts "consumer fraud" law, sending the required "intent to sue" letter. (Libby Quaid, AP, Jan. 19; Sarah Ellison and Janet Adamy, "Activists Plan to Sue Viacom and Kellogg Over Ads to Children", Wall $treet Journal, Jan. 19; Hit & Run blog Jan. 19 Sullum and Gillespie). As Sullum notes, the reality-satire lag time is now down to a week. "

This adds new meaning to the term, "Serial litigator." (ba-dom BOM!) But seriously...

This suit is doomed to fail, because the cartoon character they are targeting (SpongeBob) is too popular, and even the people who think SpongeBob is gay will rally to his cause. If they want a chance to win, they need to tackle a cereal manufacturer with a real product liability vulnerability, like Cap'n Crunch. Ever eat that stuff dry? After about 4 mouthfuls it abrades the roof of your mouth off.

No comments: