Everyone dealing with advertising substantiation has been on the sending or receiving end of a demand letter that challenges the basis for an advertising claim. These letters usually follow the same format. The letter will identify the advertising claim at issue, explains the problem with the claim, and provides a reasoned explanation for the sender’s position. These letters also generally end with the dreaded “or else” statement (please modify the advertising claim by date certain, or else). Effective? Yes. Boring? Absolutely.

But sometimes, the sender of these types of letters decides to have a little fun. And why not? We are all a part of the small world that is advertising law. We should be able to have fun with our colleagues in the industry, even if we are on opposing sides of an issue. Well the General Counsel of Harry’s (an online male grooming company specializing in men’s razors) decided to do just that when he sent a letter to a major consumer products company about an advertising claim which stated: “Most guys leave Harry’s after trying it.” The claim was an invitation for consumers to return to the consumer products company after the consumers were presumably dissatisfied with Harry’s products and services.

Rather than sending a letter following the usual form, Harry’s letter, in true tongue-in-cheek form, praised the advertising campaign but suggested that the advertisement in question contained a typo. The letter also provided a proposed edit that would fix the typo:

“Most guys leave stay with Harry’s after trying it.”

The letter went on to say that Harry’s has no pride of authorship and provided additional (somewhat sarcastic) suggestions to modify the advertising claim that would be acceptable to Harry’s. To be sure, the letter was effective substantively, providing Harry’s basis for challenging the claim. But Harry’s laid back and funny approach to this letter spices up what is usually a routine task of sending (and receiving) a demand letter.

While a response to the demand letter has not yet been published (at least not that we’ve seen) hopefully the humor is returned in kind—especially because these types of letters make for excellent blog posts.

The letter can be found at Above The Law at http://abovethelaw.com/2017/01/gc-sends-incredibly-snarky-letter-to-competitor-gc-asking-for-typo-correction/

A direct link to the letter on Above The Law’s Google Drive is http://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://abovethelaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Harrys-GC-Letter-To-Procter-Gamble-GC.pdf&hl=en_US