Louis Vuitton sues Hyundai over Super Bowl ad
Images shown during the Super Bowl of people playing basketball have landed Hyundai in a different type of court after Louis Vuitton didn’t think the ad was so super.
Luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton is accusing Hyundai of violating its trademark in one of the car company’s Super Bowl advertisements promoting the Montgomery-made Sonata.
The lawsuit, reported by Reuters news service, was filed in federal court in New York.
One of the Hyundai Sonata ads shows the car being driven through what appears to be a middle-class neighborhood. In order to illustrate its message — that luxury now is available to everyone who can buy the car — it shows residents with yachts in their yards, shows workers dining on lobster in the company cafeteria and shows police officers snacking on caviar while on patrol.
In one scene, a group of men play basketball in a park. The camera shows a close-up of the ball, and it has a decorative pattern along with what appears to be the letters “LZ” in a format similar to the “LV” initials of Louis Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton is seeking damages and for the advertisements to be permanently pulled.
The company is known to be very aggressive in protecting its trademark. In 2007, the company won a lawsuit against MTV and Sony BMG over a Britney Spears music video that showed the dashboard on a luxury vehicle that appeared to be produced by Louis Vuitton.
A French court fined MTV and Sony BMG about $117,000 each for the video.
Chris Hosford, executive director of corporate communications for Hyundai Motor America said the company still is formulating a response to the lawsuit.
“We have not had time to analyze it,” he said. “It is a pretty lengthy lawsuit.”
He admitted Hyundai was trying to bring up images of the luxury company with the advertising.
“Yes, we used a parody of the logo intentionally,” he said, when asked if it was an effort to emulate Louis Vuitton.