Wed Jan 27, 2010 @ 02:22PM PST
By Eriq Gardner
Ambush marketing has become so prevalent, we're now seeing ambush-ambush marketing. Consider the story behind AMC's recent ad promoting its "Breaking Bad" series.
In November, President Obama took a trip to China and was photographed sporting a Weatherproof jacket
. The company decided to put up a billboard of Obama sporting the jacket in the center of Times Square in New York City.
That bit of ambush marketing caught the eye of the White House, which contacted the company to express dissatisfaction that Obama's image was being used for commercial purposes.
Not to be outdone, AMC decided to create its own billboard, replacing "Weatherproof" with "You Got No Proof," referring to the show's main character (Bryan Cranston), who has turned to a life of crime.
Pretty clever. Does Obama have a legal claim against Weatherproof? And if not, does Weatherproof have a claim against AMC?
Look for ambush marketing to ramp up in the coming months as the Superbowl, Winter Olympics
and the World Cup
take place. The NFL puts out guidelines
for when the Super Bowl can be mentioned. Still, loopholes exist and trademark laws can be murky. Stay away from using a trademark, like AMC did, is Rule #1. Even that is often not enough. We can't wait to see what clever ambush campaigns advertisers try to come up with this year.