Travel Yukon tweaks tourism campaign to avoid legal snafu

After three days on the air, the advertising firm behind Travel Yukon's latest marketing campaign realized it was wiser not to compare the territory to a budget motel chain.

After three days on the air, the advertising firm behind Travel Yukon’s latest marketing campaign realized it was wiser not to compare the territory to a budget motel chain.

In a news release on Wednesday, Outside the Cube announced it was changing the original tag line from “We’ll leave a light on for you” to “Come to my Yukon – we’ll light the way.”

The change comes a few days after the much-hyped launch of a brand new winter commercial on Monday.

Viewers began commenting on various social media websites that the tag line bore glaring similarities to the one used by Motel 6, which is “We’ll leave the light on for you.”

The motel chain, founded in 1962 in Santa Barbara, California, registered the trade-mark in 1988.

Upon learning about the potential conflict, Outside the Cube suggesting the new tag line to Travel Yukon, which agreed.

“While no issues have arisen as a result of the just launched campaign and the advice of our legal and trademark advisors suggest there are options to move forward as is, Outside the Cube has advised the client to accept a copy change,” the company’s release stated.

Outside the Cube says it had verified, through the website of the Canada Intellectual Property Office, that no results were returned for the original tag line.

But a quick Google search of “We’ll leave a light on for you” yields many links to Motel 6 websites.

The new tag line, Outside the Cube explains, still contains the campaign’s three key messages: an authentic Yukon story, an invite from an actual Yukoner and the highlights of both the northern lights and midnight sun.

Outside the Cube did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

The commercial, featuring a new voice over by Moira Sauer, was re-released on Thursday afternoon.

Ariel Katz, an associate professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto, said it was hard to determine whether keeping the original tag line would have constituted a trademark infringement in any way.

“The question isn’t the degree of similarity but how the tagline is used and whether it is confusingly similar,” he wrote in an email.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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