Coke Relents, Spec Spot OK...With Disclaimer
Following a post to the WhereSpot discussion group and a story here on Adrants, Coke has called off its lawyers, who had threatened photographer Paul Papanek with legal action over a couple of spec spots he had created, and said it's fine the spots remain in existence as long as Papanek disclaims them as unaffiliated with Coke. It all seems very logical. A creative is allowed to express himself. A brand gets additional exposure without spending a cent. Everyone's happy. Except the lawyers. After three threatening letters, Coke's legal army was, apparently, called off and sent back to the dungeon to dream up other methods of charging Coke a fortune just to type up a few simple letter.
Writing in the WheresSpot discussion group, Papanek gleefully reports Coke representative Ms. Perlstein told him "everyone at Coke is talking about it" and even the brand managers are checking the spots out. Oh, and the lawyers? They're not all bad. They contacted Papanek directly and had amicable conversations.
Next time, perhaps, Coke will realize the value of consumer created media and leave well enough alone. Or, at least, approach the situation with less legal stiffness. Unless of course the work harms the brand which, clearly, Papanek's work did not.