The Maaf will indeed be able to keep its famous slogan after a bitter battle in court. The Paris court ruled in favor of the insurer, in a judgment rendered on January 21. According to the details provided by the expert site Legalis, on February 1, the court ruled that the insurer’s new advertisement is neither an infringement nor an act of parasitism. In this spot, broadcast on YouTube, the characters of the Maaf sing the famous slogan “Nothing to do, it’s the Maaf he prefers!” or the simplest “It’s the Maaf that I prefer”. However, at no time do they sing the air from which these words are inspired, nor do they entirely repeat the text of the original song.
Which song ? That of Caroline Loeb, “C’est la ouate”, released in 1986, and of which the interpreter is also co-author. This piece was used by Maaf in its advertisements in 2004, under a contract with Universal Music Publishing. The latter had authorized the insurer’s former advertising agent to use and adapt the title “C’est la ouate”, under conditions, for advertising purposes. The contract was renewed twice, specifies Legalis, but it expired in March 2019.
But two years before the end of this contract, the two co-authors of the title “C’est la ouate”, as well as the composer, did not appreciate the new advertising series of the Maaf, “Who can compete with the Maaf? “. This was posted online on YouTube on December 26, 2017, and featured various characters performing sketches, the fall of which remains the unforgettable slogan: “Rein à faire, c’est la Maaf qu’il [elle] For the co-authors of the title, however, this was an unauthorized adaptation of the chorus of their song, despite music that was completely absent. So they had sued the parasitism.
A desire to ensure continuity with successful advertising campaigns
But the Paris court therefore ruled against them, at the end of January, after having established a comparative analysis of the original song and the insurer’s latest advertisement. For him, there was no forgery or parasitism, because only the fall of the sentence had been preserved. “This single takeover cannot be considered as the infringement of the disputed expression in its original combination, since no other of the claimed characteristics have been used”, thus judged the court, quoted by Legalis.
The judges considered that the sentence “There’s nothing to do, it’s the Maaf that he [elle] prefer” demonstrates the company’s simple desire to maintain continuity with the previous advertising campaign. Without a melody, however, this slogan cannot, on its own, be considered as an element whose economic value would be attributable to the authors of the song, explains the expert site. According to the court, moreover, in view of the latest advertising campaigns carried out, the Maaf has above all attempted a “change of universe”, by parodying spy films in particular. Change which reflects “the search for a new positioning aiming “to deviate from the song” It’s the cotton wool “.
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