Labatt Breweries don’t like that some of the photos of accused murderer Luka Magnotta floating around the internet show him holding a Labatt Blue. In fact, they have threatened to sue the Montreal Gazette unless it takes the photo off some of its news stories.
“As I am sure you can understand, this image is highly denigrating to our brand, and we are disturbed that this image remains on your site despite repeated requests and the many images available of this person,” Labatt’s lawyer wrote in a letter to the newspaper.
Of course, no one would have stopped drinking the beer because of that photo, and it’s not even the most common photo available of Magnotta (whose online footprint is pretty massive). But after this kerfuffle, it’s all I can think about. In my mind now, Luka Magnotta and Labatt Blue are inextricably linked. Forever!
The Gazette has sensibly declined to remove the photo because the Labatt people are just being a bunch of crybabies. Also, they’re accomplishing exactly what they wanted to avoid, by having people talk about their brand and a murder suspect in the same breath. Well done, Labatt PR team. Well done.
UPDATE: Perhaps after googling the Streisand effect, Labatt has wisely decided to withdraw its complaint.Globe and Mail