Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Suing Yourself For Publicity Could Backfire and Destroy Your Trademarks

It is unethical and not legal to sue yourself the sake of publicity. But often people do this, sometimes companies do it to get their name in the paper and then they settle out of court with a fake entity, or friends of the company that filed a lawsuit that was bogus. When they win the lawsuit they are in the newspaper, when the lawsuit is filed they are also in the newspaper and a stay in the headlines while the deliberations are taking place.

Why on Earth would they do this? Well, for brand building, and free publicity, for starters; well nothing is free in the court system, but it is inexpensive publicity if you had to buy front-page stories in the newspaper, and thus, in a twisted sort of way, it makes sense to do this. Still, it is not legal. Also, companies that are caught doing this can get themselves in big trouble and look really stupid destroying their brand name for just attempting to pull off such a sneaky marketing trick.

There are a number of reasons why you shouldn't do this, besides the fact that it is illegal. And so when an entrepreneur recently, asked me about this, I had to explain it to her. You see, if you have your friend or in this case a fake environmental activist group file against your company, then you will cause investigative reporters to dig up dirt, if you have a completely spotless record it might not be so bad, but if they exhaust themselves and still, don't find anything, they might resort to innuendos.

Next, a "real environmental" group might jump on this virtual bandwagon and start protesting in front of one of your outlets, this will get on TV and in the newspapers and now you've turned a fake problem into a real one. Yes, it is publicity, but it could chase away countless customers and brand loyalists. Please think on this, and don't try any of this nonsense.

Lance Winslow - Lance Winslow's Bio. Lance Winslow is also Founder of the Car Wash Guys, a cool little Franchise Company;

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