The battle of the billboards is heating up in South Florida just as the weather starts to cool down. I’ve been passing the “Your wife is hot” signs on I-95 for a few months now and got a good chuckle the first time I saw it.
Air Around the Clock based in Coral Springs started the “Your wife is hot” campaign in January to promote their air conditioning repair service. It must have been wildly successful for them, because a competitor started buying signs saying “Your wife is not hot” and used the same yellow and black color scheme and similar design.
This is where it gets tricky.
Air Around the Clock filed a federal lawsuit against the competitor, All Year Cooling of Fort Lauderdale. Air Around the Clock is asking a judge to step in and stop the use of the “Your wife is not hot” signs and pay an unspecified amount of damages.
Looking at the two billboards, I believe they can be considered “confusingly similar.”
The legal guys apparently don’t see it the way I do. Meredith Mendez, an attorney for All Year Cooling, says there’s nothing confusing about the billboards because the “Your wife is not hot” has her client’s name on them. Maybe Ms. Mendez needs to take a closer look at those signs and explain why she feels they’re not confusing. When I first saw the “Your wife is not hot” sign, I thought it was a follow-up to the original, and I can see other consumers being duped as well.
What do you think?