This story was written by David Kaplan.
Denizen, a small Delaware ad firm, is suing JWT and its parent WPP over the idea to use product placement to promote Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) search engine, Bing, AdAge reports. The suit grows out of an alliance that Denizen says tried to strike with WPP in 2002 to share its method of brand integration. The alliance never went anywhere and any possibility of a deal fell through in 2006. JWT got the Bing assignment, which is estimated at $100 million, from Microsoft several months ago. Denizen says that JWT stole its idea to feature actors from a TV show—in this case, NBC’s The Philanthropist, and stars James Purefoy and Neve Campbell—in commercials around the program and on the network. Denizen claims to have suffered damages and lost business as a result of JWT’s use of what they say is their concept, though it did not offer an exact amount.
By David Kaplan