Public Sues Studios Over Movie Ads
More heat is being applied to misleading movie ads. On Monday, 10 class-action lawsuits were filed against Hollywood studios in L.A. Superior Court. The suits (by four individual plaintiffs and a group called Citizens for Truth in Movie Advertising) allege that members of the public are duped when they read favorable blurbs in movie ads from critics who have been wined and dined at lavish press junkets. The studios named were Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros., MGM, Sony, Universal, Fox, DreamWorks, Artisan and Lions Gate. (Warner, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner.) The so-called critics named in the complaints include Maria Salas, Jim Ferguson, Jeff Craig, Mark S. Allen, Ron Brewington and Earl Dittman. They are not defendants in the lawsuit, notes Variety, but they are cited as examples of reviewers who have been frequently quoted over the years in newspaper and TV ads for new releases. The plaintiffs, who charge fraudulent concealment and unfair business practices, among other charges, seek compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction prohibiting the defendants from continuing with their allegedly misleading advertising.
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