Court Says Woman Can Sue Toyota After Being Tricked Into 'Agreeing' To Be 'Stalked' In Ad Campaign Gone Really Wrong

from the eulas-are-not-all-powerful dept

Two years ago, we wrote about how Amber Duick was suing Toyota for their ridiculous ad campaign that allowed people to totally freak out their friends by entering some info about them, and then having that friend be fake "stalked" by someone creepy who would start emailing, texting and calling the person, pretending to be planning to come to their house to stay with them. It was a bad idea all around, done by an ad agency who made the idiotic decision that young men like to "punk" their friends. And, of course, to make it seem "legit," Toyota would trick the victim into "agreeing" by having something totally different sent to them (a personality test) from the friend, which has really broad terms of service.

Toyota sought to dismiss the case, by saying that Duick had agreed to these terms. However, as we predicted when the lawsuit was filed, that agreement isn't standing up in court. The court has rejected Toyota's argument, and is allowing Duick's lawsuit to go forward against Toyota and others associated with the campaign.

The question I'm still trying to answer is what sort of thought process leads anyone to think this kind of campaign is a good idea?


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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

    I for one think it's sweet they let a retarded man do their marketing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:42pm

    Please note: By commenting you are agreeing to Techdirt's terms of service.

     

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    PlagueSD (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:43pm

    I blame the stupid reality shows. Expecially the MTV show Punk'd.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    So if the TOS are void because Toyota “misrepresented and concealed (whether intentionally or not) the true nature of the conduct to which Duick was to be subjected,” this is very good news. It's the intentionally part that gets me -- seems to imply that if the TOS don't mean what you think they mean, they don't necessarily apply to you. Given that almost nobody reads them anyway, this could open the door for a lot of entertaining lawsuits.

     

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    WTF, over?

    Human speech contains no words adequate to describe the magnitude of the idiocy of this so-called ad campaign.

    My gast is totally flabbered.

     

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    Jeffhole (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

    The question I'm still trying to answer is what sort of thought process leads anyone to think this kind of campaign is a good idea?


    Not a thought process, just weed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

    The question I'm still trying to answer is what sort of thought process leads anyone to think this kind of campaign is a good idea?


    1. Scare the hell out of people with some sort of stupidity
    2. ???
    3. Profit!

    Seriously, that's the same tactic that movie studios and record companies use. They scare the hell out of people as part of an "education campaign" (or whatever they want to call it), something happens, and they expect dough to come rolling in.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

     

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    aikiwolfie (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Just when I thought ad campaigns couldn't get any dumber than Microsoft's. I'm proven wrong.

     

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    Haywood (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:03pm

    And nobody better punch me when seeing a VW

    I don't know if it will come to legal action, but a good ass wippin seems more than likely.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

    I wonder if Toyota is shocked that a court decided that a TOS is not this great bulletproof shield that want it to be.

    I can see the "ultrahip" marketing idea, the fact that anyone who said against about the down sides was dismissed as being to old to understand. And the Toyota execs who signed off were most likely just playing their role in the Emperors New Clothes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 11:31pm

    Would it be "hip" to snipe the stalker?

     

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    abc gum, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    This is a step in the right direction, as this person will be allowed their day in in court. It remains to be seen whether they will prevail. Hopefully, trickery and slight of hand will lose.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 7:04pm

      Re:

      Jury Trial solves many of these things.
      You should have a hard time getting a juror to accept the idea that a 3rd party can sign you up for something, that the company can get your approval in an underhanded way, and then expect it will all be ok for the corporation who did this.

      Toyota should be preparing to settle the case, rather than create a case that makes a point about how far you can stretch TOS.

      They should sue the ad agency themselves and try to divert energy to trying to fix this huge failure. It is not the "best" course of action according to the MBA handbook, but given their recent beatings in the press and their management of that(outright lying) - its time to take the egg on the face, apologize, pay a small settlement and move on rather than end up trying to kick the woman they managed to terrorize in the first place.

      How good of a relationship can you have with an agency who has 1 claim to fame and that is - Our campaign was so cutting edge and trendy our client got sued.

       

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