Viagra gets rough with Virgin - forces them to pull ad

Adland: 
Badland: 

Aaah, too many pun possibilities here, pun-overload!

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R has ticked off Pfizer and Viagra by using their familiar little blue bill shape as a visual in an ad poster for Virgin airlines. In their poster, the pill is inscribed with "Virgin" and the copy reads: "Virgin Upper Class Suite. The biggest, firmest, longest bed in business."

Pfizer didn't see the funny in that and complained saying the diamond shape is trademarked and these Virgin posters are infringing on Pfizer's intellectual property. Virgin has agreed to remove the posters within the next few days. Another Virgin poster they'll no longer run reads: "We're bigger than BA in the bedroom department".


click on image for a larger version.

(in October 2009 I turned comments off on this post, Viagra-spammers are attracted to it like flies to honey)

Comments (5)

  • James_Trickery's picture
    James_Trickery

    They trademarked the shape of the pill? Is that even possible?

    Apr 29, 2005
  • caffeinegoddess's picture
    caffeinegoddess

    Hmmm...is it the diamond shape that's trademarked? they should then just turn it so it's a square. ;)

    Apr 29, 2005
  • deeped's picture
    deeped

    I don't get it. Why use the blue pill?

    Apr 30, 2005
  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    They're alluding to... the biggest longest firmest... bah.. Nevermind, I just realized that explaining the funny totally kills it. :))

    Apr 30, 2005
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    It is illegal for Pharmaceutical companies like Viagra to advertise their brand, they can only advertise the condition - erectile dysfunction. Therefore they are mutually bound by the governing body to protect their trademark, and not be seen to be permissive of any marketing of their brand or logo.
    Bottom line - I doubt there was any wrist slapping despite what the papers might lead you to believe...

    Jun 08, 2005

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm after growing up in Kiruna, Raleigh and Jiddah.