IBM gets the bill
November 29, 2001 11:48 PM   Subscribe

IBM gets the bill for less-than-standard advertising methods supporting Linux. The city of San Francisco yesterday quashed some of the warm, fuzzy feelings associated with the Linux operating system when it reached a settlement with IBM that calls for the vendor to pay $120,000 to compensate the city for damages caused by a "guerrilla" marketing campaign centered on Linux.
posted by trioperative (14 comments total)
By the way, saw the link at
posted by trioperative at 11:51 PM on November 29, 2001

Can't say I feel all that bad. Why on earth would they do something so stupid?
posted by thirteen at 12:20 AM on November 30, 2001

Couldn't afford billboard space?
posted by trioperative at 12:24 AM on November 30, 2001

Well they've had lots of publicity about this. I wonder how much it would have cost to launch a conventional campaign? I suspect this $120,000 may turn out to be a bargain.
posted by salmacis at 12:29 AM on November 30, 2001

You have to wonder if any of the other victim cities will follow suit. Or if Microsoft will also get a taste.
posted by RavenX at 1:57 AM on November 30, 2001

Couldn't afford billboard space?

They can afford billboard space. But the companies want to appear to be hip by using (corporate) graffiti in NYC, Seattle, and all parts between.
posted by gluechunk at 2:32 AM on November 30, 2001

salmacis is completely right. 120 k is a nice low payout for the publicity recieved in return. marketing wins again!
posted by zoopraxiscope at 3:55 AM on November 30, 2001

Yeah, $120K is peanuts compared to what they regularly spend on TV ads.
posted by straight at 6:25 AM on November 30, 2001

i wrote an editorial to the SF Bay Guardian about these, and boy am I proud to see that my scathing letter has yielded such results.
posted by whoshotwho at 10:50 AM on November 30, 2001

The original loathsome concept was created by those clowns over at Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners for a lingerie ad campaign, and became the pivotal example of their book "Under The Radar: No One Looks At Ads Anymore So We Should Scream Even Louder." I might have that subtitle wrong. "By the time consumers realized that this street stencil was an ad, it was already through their radar." Of course, KB&P "made sure we used washable environmentally correct paint" for the lingerie ads, but really that stuff can just be pissed on, so in practice actual spray paint works much better.

The next big Under the Radar concept will be advertising firms paying people to wear T-shirts and clothing with extremely large brand names on them. Right, like that's going to happen.
posted by user92371 at 11:02 AM on November 30, 2001

I am an extremely large billboard for t-shirt advertising. Would-be "guerrilla advertisers" should contact me for rates.
posted by kindall at 11:50 AM on November 30, 2001

Yes, we do.
posted by trioperative at 1:10 PM on November 30, 2001

Here in NYC at the corner of 42nd and 8th (next to Port Authority), there used to be a huge IBM/Linux ad on the side of a building; paid for of course. But its interesting to note that just recently it was changed to a huge IBM/XP ad...
posted by harrycaul at 4:13 PM on November 30, 2001

The city tallied up 308 locations where Tux, the chubby penguin trademark of Linux, had appeared. Normally, a single case of graffiti results in a misdemeanor charge, carrying a $500 fine, Newsome said. If the city had given IBM the same punishment it usually reserves for rambunctious adolescents, the vendor would have had to pay $154,000 in fines and more in cleanup costs.

So, wait, because they did it over and over again, they have to pay less? New bulk crime rates?
posted by fidelity at 5:12 PM on November 30, 2001

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