SunPoker.com Plans Suit Over Advertising Space On Pregnant Woman’s Belly
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- Feb. 21, 2005 -- Being dubbed the ’Battle of the Belly’, SunPoker.com is weighing its legal options and preparing a case to sue a competitor for moving in on its advertising space, a pregnant woman’s belly.
While it was a twisted story from the onset, it’s now taken a very different turn than what SunPoker.com had intended. On Thursday evening February 10, 2005 at 4:05 PM EST, SunPoker.com posted the winning bid of $8,900 on an eBay auction, and won the right to advertise on the pregnant belly of Elise Harp from Atlanta Georgia. (View auction results: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3871995007)
Ms. Harp called the SunPoker.com offices in Antigua to congratulate them on the winning bid, saying, “You have no idea how happy I am right now about the auction. This money is going to help out SO much, plus it’s going to be a lot of fun advertising for you.”
After hearing this news, Bob Mann, SunPoker.com’s Marketing Director proceeded to solidify the plans for the advertisement on her belly. “I immediately called the artist from North Georgia Airbrush and set up the meeting with himself and Ms. Harp the following morning,” says Mann, “then I had our promotions department FedEx Ms. Harp twenty maternity shirts with the company logo on them, just in case it was cold at night, and lastly, I had arranged several press passes to the Daytona 500 on February 20th, where we planned on getting her to show off her belly.”
Here’s where the story gets real interesting. Seven hours later Mr. Mann received an email from Ms. Harp with the subject, ’Auction Situation’. “I am unfortunately going to have to cancel my auction with you...” Mann reads in disbelief, “I have received an offer from another company that I simply cannot refuse...” How do you cancel an auction that someone already won...?
SunPoker.com’s contention is that Ms. Harp is bound by the agreement she had with eBay to conduct a fair auction and sell the product or service to the highest bidder, which she has failed to do. Had she decided after the fact not to sell the item or service to anyone, there would be no problem, because she has every right to change her mind, but to undermine the auction process and privately solicit an under bidder after the auction has ended is a breach of the agreement.
An additional suit is being planned against the competitor for plagiarism among other reasons. “They copied word for word, a paragraph from our press release on the matter, and then stole our idea of bringing Ms. Harp to the Daytona 500,” Mann contends, “If you’re going steal our ideas, at least change the words around a bit.”
It remains to be seen what will come over the battle of the belly, but SunPoker.com promises not to take this lying down.
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