Charter Communications scored an early victory Wednesday when a federal judge halted, temporarily, elements of a DirecTV ad campaign capitalizing on the cable company’s bankruptcy. Charter filed a lawsuit against DirecTV on 5/11 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The suit claims DirecTV has been using false advertising in a national campaign that started around the time Charter declared bankruptcy in late March (5/14/09 TVBR #94).
On Wednesday, Federal Judge Rodney Sippel issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting DirecTV from using certain language in its advertising. Included are statements such as: “There’s no way (Charter will) be able to bring you the latest technology, more channels in HD and new exclusive programming.”
Said Grier Raclin, Charter’s general counsel in a statement: “We are pleased that a temporary restraining order against DirecTV’s clearly false and misleading advertisements was granted. While we are well-positioned for competition, we believe competition should remain fair and truthful.”
Said DirecTV spokesperson Robert Mercer in a statement: “The only thing the order requires is that we avoid specific statements making predictions about the outcome of the bankruptcy. We will make the necessary adjustments and continue with the campaign.”