campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 08 December 2000 12:00AM
London Weekend Television and Pearson are considering legal action against TBWA/London over its Carphone Warehouse commercial, which spoofs the popular television show Blind Date.
Chris Wissun, the head of programme legal affairs for LWT, said: 'We are in discussions with TBWA concerning the advertisement and we're seeking to settle the dispute.'
It is thought that the issue of intellectual property is the grounds for the dispute, as TBWA did not seek permission from LWT before it aired the Carphone Warehouse spot, which broke last month.
It is also understood that the issues of 'passing off', or spoofing, and format rights are part of the dispute.
Wissun refused to confirm whether the issue of intellectual property is driving the case, but did say that it was 'about the similarity of the advertising to Blind Date'.
Johnny Hornby, joint managing director of TBWA, added: 'We've had constructive discussions with both Pearson and LWT. We hope to reach an agreement, as it's in no-one's interest to go to court.'
The ad opens on a game-show featuring a Cilla Black lookalike, and three contestants in a Blind Date-style setting, complete with contestants and a sliding screen separating the boys from the girl. The commercial uses the Blind Date theme to illustrate the Carphone Warehouse's ability to help customers make the right decision.
Wissun refused to comment on what action LWT would be taking. He said: 'We're considering our position.'
However, he did confirm that any action is being taken against the agency, rather than Carphone Warehouse, adding: 'At the moment we're dealing with TBWA as it is the one that made the ad.'
TBWA was appointed to the pounds 10 million account in June after Young & Rubicam resigned the business in August last year, following its merger with Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, which already held the Virgin Mobile account.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk