Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Frivolous Lawsuit and/or Poor Marketing of the Day

Emerson filed a federal lawsuit in St. Louis on Monday, seeking to block the NBC television network from rebroadcasting the pilot episode of the new show "Heroes," which depicts a woman damaging her hand in a garbage disposal made by the company.

The Ferguson-based maker of electric products says NBC Universal Television Studios did not have the right to use the company's In-Sink-Erator brand disposal in the show without permission.


Yeah, we need to stand up to The Man! No way will I buy an InSink Erator the next time I purchase a disposal. Grrrrrrr. ;-)

This suit is so ridiculous. I'm surprised anyone even noticed this let alone allow it to affect a purchasing decision--on an oft-purchased disposal. Please. If this sticks, does that mean studios will have to ask permission for every single item used on the set? "Hey! That 6-panel Chuck's Doors door was used without permission! I'm filing suit!" Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Theories:
(1) Emerson is marketing-clueless. Firms pay millions for product placements such as this. They should ride the wave.
(2) Emerson is marketing-savvy. They know the lawsuit will generate lots of buzz. Any buzz is good buzz.
(3) Emerson is conniving and malicious. Emerson competes with General Electric (parent of NBC).

I'm leaning toward mostly #2 with a spot of #3. I'm sure some Emerson exec caught this on their 1080i and started plotting. Who else would go through the trouble of examining a garbage disposal at a high enough resolution to make out the brand?

When will companies stop doing stupid things?!

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