TaylorMade Sues, Seeking ‘Corrective Advertising’ from Upstart Club Manufacturer

Apr 11, 2008

By Mary Yarrison
For quite some time, TaylorMade drivers have been used on the PGA and Nationwide tours in numbers far greater than their nearest competitor; their popularity is undisputed.
TaylorMade advertising is based on the technology and the athletes, like Sergio Garcia, who choose to use them. They conclude each commercial, of course, with a reminder that TaylorMade is the “#1 driver in golf.”
However, when smaller, northern California company, Nickent, made commercials touting its similar, but smaller-scale success, it got sued. Nickent’s 4DX driver was used by more players than any other club at the Nationwide tour’s most recent stop—the Moonah Classic in Victoria, Australia. An ad campaign followed the release of this statistic. That campaign has now landed Nickent in court.
In a March 20 press release, Nickent said: “we wanted to tout the fact that we have a driver that is good enough to finish as the #1 driver model in a Nationwide Tour event.” Tout they did, in a commercial for the 4DX that begins by claiming that “there’s a new brand making noise on tour,” and goes on to call it “the choice of the best players in the world.” The commercial finally states that Nickent has finished as high as the “number one driver model and number two overall wood on the 2008 Nationwide tour,” implying that such results are the standard rather than an outlier. The fact that Nickent garnered both of the aforementioned accolades at the Moonah classic is mentioned only in small, nearly illegible print at the bottom of the screen, and this detail has spurred a lawsuit from TaylorMade.
“Occasionally fringe companies in the industry try to encroach on our territory as the #1 driver in golf by misrepresenting the facts,” TaylorMade’s vice president of marketing, Bob Maggiore said in a statement.
“Being the #1 driver model at a Nationwide Tour event does not equate to being the No. 1 driver on tour,” and it should not be represented as such, he claims. As a result, TaylorMade has filed a suit in the California Superior Court in San Diego asking for an injunction against Nickent that would call for the withdrawal of current ads and “corrective advertising,” along with a measure of restitution. The suit was filed March 20, 2008.


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