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Sony Agrees to Suspend Pig From Ad Campaign

April 23, 1998|MARLA MATZER

Sony Corp. this week agreed to withdraw ads reminiscent of the animal star of the 1995 film "Babe," to settle a dispute.

The ads, which featured a cute pink pig, were part of an image campaign that asked: "Do you dream in Sony?"

Universal Studios complained that the pig in the Sony ads had the same "magical realism" of its Babe, the hero pig. Universal sent Sony a cease-and-desist letter after it received calls from TV viewers who said the pigs looked alike, sources said. Sony's campaign also included print ads featuring the pig.

Sony said it is suspending the pig ads as it reviews Universal's complaint. Sony said it had planned to air the pig ads only for a short time. It is continuing the image campaign, developed by Japan-based Dentsu and Young & Rubicam in New York, without the pig.

Protecting "Babe" is important to Universal, which has a sequel and merchandising program in the works. Universal expects to release "Babe: Pig in the City" in November and has more than 50 licensees for the property.

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