Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chamber of Commerce Suing Yes Men For "Commercial Identity Theft"

Zachary Roth
October 27, 2009

Calling last week's hoax by the Yes Men "nothing less than commercial identity theft masquerading as social activism," the Chamber of Commerce is suing the prankster group and its allies for trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising, reports Mother Jones.

The Yes Men -- actors Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos (who also use the names Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, respectively), last week held a fake press conference in Washington DC, along with activists from the Avaaz Action Factory, in which they impersonated Chamber executives and announced that the group had shifted its opposition to real efforts at tackling global warming. A press release announcing the event fooled Reuters and other news outlets into reporting that the Chamber had changed its stance.

The Chamber's complaint charges that the stunt was an effort to promote the new Yes Men movie, The Yes Men Fix The World.

In the wake of the prank, the Chamber said it would be asking "law enforcement authorities to investigate." That suggestion of a criminal probe doesn't seem to have materialized. But the Chamber may still get its day in court.