Maine Office of Tourism Targets Blogger
(guest blog by Taylor Marsh)
It's likely that when Lance Dutson went after the Maine Office of Tourism (MOT) he didn't know he would cause a five alarm blaze. He also didn't count on it spreading to his own front yard. It all started when the Maine blogger began reporting critically on MOT's marketing strategies and spending. The New York ad agency in charge, Warren Kremer Paino Advertising, aka WKPA, was not amused. Neither was MOT's pr rep, Nancy Marshall, who sent email's to Dutson's wife at work, as well as her boss. Then the group got really nasty. WKPA filed a seven figure lawsuit against Lance Dutson for defamation, libel, and copyright infringement. Luckily, he's attracted serious lead counsel and co-council. Oh, and did I mention that WKPA is also miffed because Dutson showed one of their ads on his blog? It also just so happened that the phone number in the ad went to a phone sex line. Oops. Big mistake for an agency to make, wouldn't you say?
It gets worse. In the complaint, Warren Kremer Paino charges that Dutson falsely claimed that WKPA was "pissing away" Maine's tourism money. They can't be this dense about the First Amendment. A Maine blogger is right to question the use of state money, especially a blogger who has a blog called "Mainewebreport." There's more from the Boston Globe, EWeek, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog.
Everyone is beginning to feel the power of blogs. But a frivolous lawsuit won't get anyone anywhere.