A row over an ad showing a squashed, pink toy rabbit apparently
having been run over by a car is moving into the High Court following
the issue of a writ by Duracell to protect its famous trademark.
The battery manufacturer is suing the Volkswagen Group United Kingdom
and Audi’s agency, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, for damages over alleged
trademark infringement in a national press ad for the Audi TDI.
BBH produced the ad, which shows the broken toy lying near the central
white line on an empty road and a drum in the opposite carriageway. It
carries the line: ’Audi TDI. Keeps on going.’
Underneath it are the words, ’No other diesel looks like it or lasts
like it’, mirroring the Duracell line, ’No other battery looks like it
or lasts like it.’
Meanwhile, the Advertising Standards Authority is investigating more
than 80 complaints that the ad - which has now been withdrawn - is
tasteless and trivialises the killing of wildlife.
Duracell, which is owned by Gillette, introduced the drumming bunny into
the UK in the late 70s and it has since evolved into one of
advertising’s most familiar characters.
Duracell has the rights to the character across Europe while in the US
it is used to promote Duracell’s arch-rival, Energizer.
Neither Duracell, VW nor BBH would comment on the impending legal