Are Truckers Offended by Lavender Art?
PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A truck repair company sued a billboard company, claiming a lavender sign on its property, for an "upscale spa," with "artistic, cursive writing" is offensive to truckers, and will cost it "significant lost business and lost profits."
Coast Truck Centers, of suburban Troutdale, sued JR Zukin Corp. dba Meadow Outdoor Advertising, in Multnomah County Court.
Coast claims that its predecessor on the property, Woodpecker Trust, granted a permanent easement for a billboard to Meadow's predecessor, Total Communications Outdoor Advertising, in 1994.
"The easement expressly provides that all advertising copy for the billboard, including final copy, must be approved by Woodpecker," the complaint states.
Coast Truck Centers adds: "Zukin has previously sought approval for specific advertising on the billboard pursuant to the terms of the easement, and Coast has previously granted approval, though Zukin has previously misled Coast as to the exact nature of the advertising. On other occasions, Zukin, in knowing, willful and intentional violation of the easement, has failed to seek approval from Coast, with Coast expressly objecting to such failure to seek approval and informing Zukin that such failure was a breach of the easement."
But this time, Coast says, Zukin went too far: "In 2012, Zukin placed advertising on the billboard, knowingly, willfully and intentionally failing to seek approval of Coast. Zukin then entered onto the property surreptitiously and outside of normal business hours, in knowing, willful and intentional violation of the easement. This unapproved easement, which remains on the billboard, is for Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa ('Bonneville'), is lavender in color, contains artistic, cursive writing, and advertises a resort aimed at upscale, high-end customers. On its website, Bonneville advertises rooms and packages starting at $199 per night, up to $599 per night. In failing to seek approval form Coast, Zukin knew Coast would not have approved this advertising, and knew that such advertising would be harmful to Coast's business. ...
"Further, not only has Coast not approved the advertising, but it expressly disapproves of the advertising because its customer base, which consists of truckers and trucking companies, is offended by the appearance that Coast is advertising, or approving the advertising, of such a lavish, upscale and expensive resort, resulting in significant lost business and lost profits for Coast."
Coast seeks an injunction requiring Zukin to "immediately remove the offending advertising from the billboard," and preventing it from posting any more ads there without Coast's express approval.
Coast is represented by John Chambers, with Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue.