Theater Goers Sue Over Pre-Film Ads

Well, we new it had to come to this at some point. Sure, it's a captive audience but with the length of time prior to the actual start of the film creeping towards 25 minutes, theater goers are getting mad. And some are suing.

"It is completely ludicrous to have moviegoers pay good money to watch commercials -- they can do that at home for free," said attorney Douglas Litowitz, a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Ore.

"Moviegoers are busy people who want to see feature films at the times set forth on their tickets and in newspaper listings. To keep them in a low-level state of confusion so that they can be force-fed advertisements is a breach of contract and a deceptive consumer practice," Litowitz said.

The suit targets New York based Loews Theaters.

It will be a tough fight as the segment is now a $300 million business according to the Cinema Advertising Council.

But those suing are not letting up. "The newspaper listing and the tickets should state the actual times of the commercials, the coming attractions and the feature film," Litowitz said.

While I admit pre-movie ads are annoying, the theaters are not going to cave into this one anytime soon. Maybe a handful of people will just come after the start time and try to avoid the ads but the draw of feature films is too powerful to amount to any large scale boycott. I could be wrong but I don't think so.

Of course, none of this would be a problem if the ads themselves were actually entertaining.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-23-03   Click to Comment   
  

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