Imus targeted in another legal battle


This time, the plaintiff is Flatsigned Press Inc., publisher of a book by President Gerald Ford. They claim Don Imus changed the script of a host-voiced ad, turning a paid-commercial into a joke at their expense. They want 4M.

At issue is "John F. Kennedy: Assassination Report of the Warren Commission," written by Ford and released after his death. The book hit the streets in December 2006, and Flatsigned paid for an Imus-voiced ad in January 2007. Imus is said to have said the script was "cheesy," and that the publisher waited until Ford died to "unload" the books. The suit also charges that Imus punned the word "flatlined" with Flatsigned.

The plaintiff says it lost sales after Imus had his fun with the spots, and that some stores refused to stock it in the wake of Imus’ comments. Infinity Radio, CBS Radio and WFAN-AM New York are all named in the suit with Imus.

RBR/TVBR observation: We know something about advertising. We’ve run photos of numerous personalities, group heads, consultants, brokers and other well- and not-so-well-known members of the greater broadcast community. Thus far, we have had no trouble at all refraining from drawing Groucho glasses and mustaches on a single one, even though technology makes such a feat easier every day. Imus’s representation says the suit is without merit, and maybe that’s correct, but common sense dictates that you don’t mess with the client who’s paying the bills during the very chunk of time they paid for.