The Second Circuit today affirmed a preliminary injunction against DIRECTV’s television ads featuring Jessica Simpson (as Daisy Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard) and William Shatner (as Captain Kirk from Star Trek). The court held that the spots falsely implied that DIRECTV provided better high-definition picture quality than cable. Time Warner Cable, Inc. v. DIRECTV, Inc., No. 07-04680-cv (2d Cir. Aug. 9, 2007).
The Simpson advert shows her as Daisy Duke the waitress:
Simpson: Y’all ready to order?
Hey, 253 straight days at the gym to get this body and you’re not gonna watch me on DIRECTV HD?
You’re just not gonna get the best picture out of some fancy big screen TV without DIRECTV.
It’s broadcast in 1080i. I totally don’t know what that means, but I want it.
In the Shatner commercial, the action happens on the deck of the Starship Enterprise:
Mr. Chekov: Should we raise our shields, Captain?
Captain Kirk: At ease, Mr. Chekov. Again with the shields. I wish he’d just relax and enjoy the amazing picture clarity of the DIRECTV HD we just hooked up.
With what Starfleet just ponied up for this big screen TV, settling for cable would be illogical.
Mr. Spock: [Clearing throat.]
Captain Kirk: What, I can’t use that line?
Funny stuff. Also, per the Second Circuit, false.
Oh, yes. The court reversed in part. Why? Because it concluded that DIRECTV’s internet ads went so far over the top that nobody would believe them.