Is legal action really a marketing option?

Is it just me, or does it seem that many companies see the best response to something they disagree with is legal action?

Cease and desist, threatening lawsuits, etc.

For example, this story.  Was suing because they didn’t like what was implied by the ad the right choice?
I don’t think so.  I think it shows lack of imagination, lack of creativity and a lot of what is wrong with many businesses today.

Why not just say, “Well, they got us.  Let’s get them back.”  People are too sensitive and quick to have their feelings hurt these days and I think it prevents many from lots of opportunities.

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Is legal action really a marketing option?

JPG Magazine…I’m not a firestarter on this one….I hope!

If you’re not aware of JPG Magazine, you’re missing out.  Really it’s great!

But, recently there’s been some problems around the magazine and the founders, Derek Powazek and Heather Champ.

You can read their summaries and explanations here and here.

Now, I don’t want to jump in and be a firestarter here Mitch, but I don’t think this is a situation like the Apple podcast trademark “issue.”  We have statements from two of the key people involved and that’s where my comments come from.

First, this is very sad. Derek and Heather obviously built something out of love and to have their vision stolen from them is crushing.  They will certainly go on to do great things, but it’s very sad to see their first love snatched away this way.

Secondly, will this be the end of JPG?  I think it’s quite possible.  The entire magazine was built around community.  Because of this, many people feel a connection with and loyalty to Derek and Heather.  Will their leaving hurt JPG?  The possibility is there.  One thing about social media, people’s passions come out and they are often unfettered due to the perceived anonymity of the Internet.  It will be interesting to see submission and readership data for JPG as this story spreads.

Finally, it’s amazing the exercise in futility that this illustrates.  Now, excuse the redneck reference here, but I think it’s appropriate.  A few years back, NASCAR changed the name of it’s main racing series from the Winston Cup Series to the Nextel Cup Series.  Since that time, they have tried to wipe out any reference to the Winston Cup.  The first year they would talk about how many Nextel Cup Championships so and so had won…even though there had never been a Nextel Cup Championship…only Winston Cup.

I think this will be a similar situation.  People KNOW how JPG started.  You can’t change a story just because you think it makes for better branding (which I ALSO think it doesn’t).  Truth is truth.  It’s not possible to say, “It didn’t happen that way…just look at our website.”  The legend is out there.  And it’s great one.  Why not embrace it and build it even more?

It’s very sad that this has happened, but I am sure this will lead to bigger and better things for Heather and Derek. 

As an aside, I found a great nugget in Derek’s post when he talks about lessons learned.   He says, “Decisions aren’t decisions if you have to keep making them.  Set on the course and stick to it.”  Well put.

Oh, and for some real fun, watch Heather on a Photowalk with Robert Scoble and Thomas Hawk here!

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Remember to vote in the Most Valuable Podcasts Final Four

So, I got an email from Joseph Jaffe today asking why I hadn’t been more proactive with updates about the Most Valuable Podcasts contest.

I could say that I had gotten some pushback initially about the contest and was just letting it fly under the radar.

I could say that I was trying to let it grow organically and just post the link to each round.

Or, I could tell the truth and say that I was lazy and didn’t give any updates.

Hmmm, decisions decisions.

Anyway, here’s a summary of the contest so far.  Remember, voting in the Final Four is still up here, but I will be processing it soon and posting the final matchup.

Sweet 16

In this first round we had the matchups looking like this:

The Engaging Brand vs For Immediate Release 
Winner: For Immediate Release

Forward Podcast vs Trafcom News
Winner: Trafcom News

CrayonCast vs Marketing Martini
Winner: CrayonCast

American Copywriter vs Six Pixels of Separation
Winner: American Copywriter

Diary of a Shameless Self Promoter vs Managing the Gray
Winner: Managing the Gray

The Client Side vs New Comm Road
Winner: The Client Side

Inside PR vs The M Show
Winner: Inside PR

Across the Sound vs The Accidental Creative
Winner: Across the Sound


Then, we moved on to the Elite Eight.  For some reason voting was way down in this round.  The first round had over 200 votes, this one only 25.  Strange.  Anyway, this is how it went:

The Client Side vs Inside PR
Winner: Inside PR

Managing the Gray vs Across the Sound
Winner: Across the Sound (This could make for an interesting staff meeting this week at crayon!)

American Copywriter vs Trafcom News
Winner: American Copywriter

For Immediate Release vs CrayonCast
Winner: For Immediate Release

So, that brings us to the Final Four.  Again voting is here and the matchups are:

Across the Sound vs Inside PR


For Immediate Release vs American Copywriter

Get your votes in because the finals are coming soon!



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Remember to vote in the Most Valuable Podcasts Final Four

Jaffe and Nikon…Now they are REALLY getting it!

So, Joseph Jaffe blogged about the fact that he’s part of the Nikon D80 marketing effort.

I’m sure everyone remembers when Nikon went to specific photographers on Flickr to test their new camera and then used the images in an ad campaign.  No one argued that this wasn’t a brilliant approach and changed a lot in the world of camera marketing.

Now, they could have just let it drop at that and had it be a great success.  But they didn’t.  Now, they’ve expanded that to other bloggers by offering them a Nikon D80 to try.  Jaffe has the details on his blog, so be sure to check it out, but I think there are some points about this that make the campaign stand out as HUGE.

1) You get the camera for six months.  This is a little like the old tactic of selling a puppy by sending it home with the person for a week.  Once you have it, you can’t imagine living without it.

2) At the end of the program you have the option to purchase it at a discount.  Great idea and I think they’ll get quite a few sales from this.

3) They are encouraging transparency throughout the whole process.  Enough said.

4) Nikon is approaching bloggers and not just photographers.  What has this done?  Well, Joseph activated his Flickr account and you can be sure that people will see what camera he’s using.  Plus, this shows people that may be intimidated by this level of camera that someone who doesn’t have the “pro photographer” experience can get comfortable with their camera.

Next step for Nikon?  They should try to get Thomas Hawk to switch from Canon!

Anyway.  For me as someone who is looking to purchase a DSLR in the near future, this pushes me slightly toward Nikon simply because of their great efforts to connect with people on a personal level.

Great job Nikon!

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