Last month, if you recall, Marvel teamed up with DaimlerChrysler to launch an online campaign called “Choose Your Adventure” to help promote the Jeep Patriot. That doesn’t sit well with the company that owns the rights to the Choose Your Own Adventure series of children’s books.
On Tuesday, Chooseco LLC filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement against DaimlerChrysler, Marvel Entertainment and two other companies, alleging the two slogans are too similar, making them virtually indistinguishable. The publisher, which recently began reissuing the R.A. Montgomery books, charges that the car maker is aiming its campaign at men in their 20s and 30s — the very demographic that would’ve grown up reading the series.
“What we feel is that Jeep is trying to piggyback on the really positive associations of adventure and opportunity and choice that the former fans — the original fan base — had associated with Choose Your Own Adventure,” Chooseco President Shannon Gilligan told The Associated Press.
The “Choose Your Adventure” campaign, which launched in early February, invited customers to submit dialogue and plotlines for an online Jeep Patriot-oriented comic, produced in conjunction with Marvel Comics. According to Media Daily News, the winning submissions will be collected in a 28-page comic, due sometime this spring and shipped to some 100,000 people.
According to the AP article, a cease-and-desist request was sent to the Chrysler Group on March 16. However, the campaign’s website remains active.
“Obviously, they’re looking for money,” Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines told the AP. “We’d offered to link our site, which gets nine katrillion times more traffic, to their site.”
Besides DaimlerChrysler and Marvel, the lawsuit also names as defendants BBDO Detroit, the auto maker’s marketing agency, and Organic, Inc., an online marketing and design company.