QUEENS (CN) – A candidate for Queens County Borough president says a dairy yanked his campaign ad from its milk cartons because of pressure from rivals who were stunned by its success. Robert Schwartz demands $5 million from Elmhurst Dairy in Queens County Court.
Schwartz claims he signed a contract for a massive media blitz with Elmhurst and Milk Jug Media in June. He was to get 2.4 million labels on gallon and half-gallon cartons to run for “four to five weeks” with the option to extend for a total 5 million labels.
Thousands of the labels were distributed in Queens and surrounding boroughs on Aug. 9, Schwartz says. He says the campaign was so successful that political opponents tried to put a stop to it a day later.
“Elmhurst Dairy received communication from third parties that were displeased with the success of plaintiff’s advertising campaign and may have made threats of effecting unfavorable government treatment of defendants for contracting to distribute plaintiff’s advertising materials,” the complaint states.
After receiving the “communication,” Elmhurst’s executive director J. Valentine “halted production of labeling of milk containers at their plant with plaintiffs’ advertising, recalled so-labeled and distributed containers, dumped tens of thousands of gallons of fresh milk, and destroyed millions of plaintiffs’ advertising labels,” Schwartz says. He named Valentine as a defendant, along with Elmhurst and Milk Jug Media.
Schwartz says he put up a $15,000 down payment for the ads and was obligated to pay $55,000 more.
He demands damages for breach of contract and violation of First and Fourteenth Amendments. Schwartz wants $5 million in punitive damages for irreparable harm to his campaign, immediate resumption of the milk label distribution and an injunction preventing Elmhurst from breaching its contract.
He is represented by Joseph Kasper.