Some guy with a movie called Iron Cross – starring the late Jaws actor Roy Scheider – decided to advertise in dying Hollywood trade rag Variety after Variety approached them about selling advertising. When Variety gave Iron Cross a bad review, the advertisers were pissed. So pissed, in fact, that they sued Variety for ruining their campaign with a review the dying Variety astutely (stupidly and on that note, very incidentally) noted was “stupid” and wouldn’t even get read. The result?
A Los Angeles Superior Court last week dismissed a lawsuit that said Variety illegally damaged the movie by luring it into last year’s awards race with the offer of an expensive advertising package, then savaging it with a bad review. The court dismissed the suit based on First Amendment grounds.
Because advertisers are paying for advertising and not editorial, because you can’t pay for editorial, unless you:
(A) Find a crooked publication.
(B) Disguise advertising as editorial, which is called advertorial, and is often too dumb to fool consumers, but is practiced anyway. Or,
(C) Just buy out all the ads on the entire site, like Band of Horses’ advertising buyers recently did to a certain popular music review website that give them a mediocre review!
All options the producers of Iron Cross and people seeking to get stuff written about them that they like should further explore, once they unfold out of the mysteriously complex contortionists pose that has left them with their heads quite far past the back of their knees!
Meanwhile, Variety‘s correct in that the review didn’t matter, because nobody can get behind their Iron Paywall for most of anything, anyway, and won’t pay to do so. Everyone loses except the First Amendment.