One of Richmond’s most recognizable residents, Martin Agency celeb Andy Azula, is in the middle of a lawsuit between shipping giants.
The Memphis-based FedEx is suing Atlanta’s UPS over a recent commercial that features Azula and his now-famous whiteboard, according to the Memphis Daily News. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Memphis.
The rift is over a claim made in the ad where Azula says that UPS has been “ranked the most reliable” of shipping companies.
From the article:
One of FedEx’s main lines of attack continues to be the timeliness of the phrase “just ranked the most reliable” in the UPS ad.
“If you’re looking for a shipping company who really understands today’s economy, you’d want one that’s helped customers through 20 recessions, had over 400,000 employees worldwide, over a hundred years’ experience and was just ranked the most reliable,” the TV ad in question told viewers. “Well, that would be UPS.”
The basis of the UPS ad was a survey of shippers by the Morgan Stanley investment firm. FedEx believes the November survey methodology was flawed.
It also takes issue with UPS mentioning the claim it was “just ranked” on the basis of a November survey.
Lawyers from the two companies will meet later on this month to discuss the lawsuit.
Azula, who is the creative director at the Martin Agency, was never supposed to be in the commercial in the first place. He pitched the idea and then couldn’t find anyone who could write and talk at the same time. Last week the Wall Street Journal ran an article about him.
From the article:
Since 2007, Mr. Azula has appeared in 48 different 15- and 30-second TV spots (although he’s not sure how many of those spots have actually aired). These days, he gets recognized pretty much everywhere he goes. Strangers often ask him to draw them a picture. The most common question he gets is whether he actually does the whiteboard drawings in the ads. (The answer is yes.)
The whiteboard campaign was among the firm’s advertising successes in recent years that also include the Geico caveman commercials.
FedEx launched a site, www.brownbailout.com, that features a parody of the original whiteboard ads.
[…] It may be that with the suit and the blog, Azula is drawing a bit more attention to UPS than the client bargained for. Moral of the Story: Be careful what you blog about in public. FedEx sues UPS over whiteboard ads […]