Friday, March 12, 2010

Stop in the Name of the … NAME?

I have to admit I’m not the sharpest tool in the legal shed, but I really did not EVER expect to see a multi-million dollar Defamation lawsuit, originate over those entertaining E-Trade talking baby commercials? Since all young babies, kind of look alike, act alike, and oh yeah … CAN’T SPEAK YET – I could not imagine, in a sane world, a scenario where legal limits could be crossed in these ads?

Apparently however, ‘last-year’s news' Lindsay Lohan, felt that one of the E-Trade Ad babies portrayed an inappropriate characterization of her, since one baby was a 'Milk-aholic' named Lindsay. I never got that from those commercials? In fact the only similarity between Lohan and the babies in E-trade commercials is that both of them ARE INDEED BABIES! Also, I seriously doubt Lohan has EVER drank milk at all in her life even when she WAS a baby? It is so much easier to snap on a ‘sippy cup top’ to a can of beer, than to mess with all of those sterile bottles rules and wrist-testing steps.

No I am not a lawyer, but first off, I thought in principle, satire is protected free speech on just about anything but particularly on public figures? Yes, I get the fact that E-Trade was technically engaging in business, especially with an audience the size of the Super Bowl viewing their commercials. But are not Jon Stewart, Leno or Letterman partaking and profiting from humor and advertising on their shows everyday as well?

Further, while I can marginally see someone seeking trademark protection on a highly unusual single name moniker like ‘Cher’ or ‘Bozo’ when applied to a particular product or skill (Singer or clown)- but LINDSAY? Isn’t that first name in every baby names book in the world? I bet even in Zulu, a couple of clicks and a grunt or two stands for Lindsay in their baby name books? Also, what would Lindsay’s trademark protected ‘skill or product’ be – public intoxication; indecent exposure; or maybe, bad hair day?

Methinks Ms. Lohan has not been behaving badly enough lately to get noticed by the press and it’s making her pout. Nothing better to stoke the buzz than the drama and insanity of a frivolous lawsuit eh? Ahh, our little ’attention-aholic’ is growing up and misses her flock of ‘Paps’. Too bad she is unwilling to leave her car-seat and Pampers behind to finally step up to Pull-ups - just like the rest of us!

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