Eliot Van Buskirk over at Wired magazine’s Listening Post blog has the hilarious tale of an advertising email gone astray: the missive in question came from one Adam Kluger of The Kluger Agency (or, according to Mr. Kluger, from an over-eager minion of his), and it offered a company called Double Happiness Jeans the opportunity to have their product name appear in the lyrics of a popular song, sung by “one of the world’s most famous recording artists.” Two problems with that: Double Happiness Jeans is an art project involving the virtual world Second Life, and — last but not least — it is also part of something called The Anti-Advertising Agency, run by Jeff Crouse and Steve Lambert.
Not the most auspicious person to contact for something that even relatively pro-advertising music fans might see as an abomination, but Mr. Kluger sees as “the opportunity of a lifetime.” Rather than dismiss his email, however, Crouse responds enthusiastically:
On a personal note, Iâ€™d like to say that I simply donâ€™t understand all of the fuss about product placement. I say: if you can deliver me a catchy tune while simultaneously informing me about a new hot Axe body spray fragrance, well you have just saved me precious time! Words are words, whether they are about axe body spray or â€œhitting me one more timeâ€.
Then things got even weirder: after commenters posted some unflattering remarks about Mr. Kruger on the Anti-Advertising blog, he contacted Crouse and Lambert both by phone and via e-mail to ask that they remove the comments — and has now threatened to sue, claiming that “$5500 is what it’s going to cost me to have an attorney stick you with a $150,000 judgment for the next 20 years.” Kruger says he plans to go after the Anti-Advertising Agency as well as the gallery where Lambert sells his art. As Lambert notes in a comment on the AAA blog, however, according to the most recent rulings in the U.S., blogs are protected from legal action related to comments.