Pissed Off Variety Advertiser Now Pissed Off That Judge Laughed Their “Badvertorial” Lawsuit Out*


We wrote earlier about a Variety advertiser who had their lawsuit – which pitted a film producer against the Hollywood trade, who had given said producer’s film a bad review while he had an advertising buy in-progress with Variety – tossed out of court. Well! It’d seem that they case is over, but such is not the case! As the producers have written a pissed off letter about the judge’s decision. Want to read it?


We disagree with the judge’s ruling.

Why: This is not a complaint about Variety’s right to release a review. This is a complaint about the questionable business practices of Variety. It is a complaint about Variety approaching Calibra and persuading it to become Calibra’s exclusive media partner by paying $400,000 to Variety. It is a complaint about Variety taking money from the film’s producers and promising to help obtain distribution for the film and help obtain an Academy Award nomination for Roy Scheider.

We have alleged that Variety breached the agreement and committed fraud by claiming that they would be Calibra’s exclusive media partner and assist Calibra when in fact their questionable business practices severely undermined the film.

Variety is attempting to hide behind their alleged first amendment rights. It is unconscionable that Variety would hide behind their first amendment right in order to perpetrate their unfair business practices on unsuspecting filmmakers.

This is a case of first impression, not protected by the first amendment rights, and we expect to prevail in the Court of Appeal.

In the meantime, my client is requesting equal access to Variety’s newspaper so that Calibra may have an equal opportunity to rebut their statement of today.

With the exception of Joshua Newton being described as the film’s writer, director, producer and editor, all of the other statements in today’s VARIETY article are either false or misleading.

Please note that contrary to VARIETY’s assertion, “IRON CROSS” has not yet been distributed either theatrically or on home video. The film had a special one-week engagement in Los Angeles intended for Academy Award qualification purposes December 18-24, 2009.

So, basically, they’re now trying to sue someone for selling them on an ad deal. The producers of “‘IRON CROSS'” need to realize that if Variety had a dollar for every time someone didn’t get results from advertising with Variety, they might not have to put up a paywall that makes their advertising even more difficult to see. Also, you’re trying to sue the person who sold you on this ad buy? No. Oh no. You should be hiring that guy. We should be hiring that guy. He managed to convince someone to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to sell something that apparently wasn’t worth selling! That takes talent…or a really solid salesman.


*The Variety version of this headline, I believe, is HACK PROD THINKS HE’S GOD, BAD AD BUY BOILS OVER.