Ad Blogger Sued For Defamation


When one thinks of Maine, one usually envisions beautiful mountain landscapes, endless coastline and a land made for vacationing. That all may be true but recently, at least in the ad industry, things have been pretty ugly. A blogger, Lance Dutson, has been sued by Warren Kremmer Paino Advertising for defamation, libel and copyright infringement. Basically, Dutson called attention to an ad he found on the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development website which carries a telephone number that, apparently by mistake, leads to some sort of dating/phone sex operation. The Maine Office of Tourism and its agency Warren Kremmer Paino weren't too pleased Dutson called attention to the ad which, according to Dutson, was publicly available on a website. While we don't claim to have intimate knowledge of all the details (there summed up here) the saga, it seems, is yet another example of how poorly large organizations react to having their dirty laundry aired when a simple, "Oops, we're sorry, we goofed," would suffice.

by Steve Hall    May- 1-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Bad, Policy   

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They are clearly bringing more attention to the error. It'll be interesting to see the outcome. Not sure, when did reporting the facts become slander?

Posted by: Ben Carcio on May 2, 2006 3:05 PM

The situation is a little more involved than just the wrong phone # in the ad. It mostly involves the Maine Office of Tourism's pay-per-click program that is used in-state and how the state was driving up the cost to local small businesses under headings not relevant to Maine Tourism such as "Camden Maine Web Design."
Lance went to the state with his questions/concerns and was ignored repeatedly. He used his blog and his Constitution Right to Free Speech to express his opinion and was sued for it.
While Lance's blog is quite lengthy on the subject it sounds like something straight out of a soap opera; mysterious phone calls and letters, threats of violence, bullying, etc.

Posted by: Cheryl on May 3, 2006 12:47 PM