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Friday, 2 September 2005


Following yesterday's confessional blog on the subject of spec spots, the IPKat has received this from his friend Caroline Wilson (Lecturer in Law at the University of Southampton):

I am not aware of any official definition of spec spot, but the term refers to online speculative advertisements either made for the purpose of 'pitching' for business from potential or current clients, or for the purpose of parody. Increasingly, however, spec spot is used to refer to any Internet-distributed multimedia/live action/animated advertisement (e.g. there is a slightly naughty 3-D spec spot that has apparently been produced for Bass Brewers here). As for the origins of the term, my view is that it is a combination of two older advertising terms (the production of a speculative or spec promotion for a future customer used to be common practice and spot advertising is advertising presented in select locales).

Naturally where spec spots incorporate brands or items that are protected by IPRs, IP infringement can be an issue. Recently I heard that the Coca Cola Company had taken offence to some spec spots - I have not had official confirmation of this yet, but further information about this can be found here .

I am currently undertaking research on this topic (and other Internet advertising issues) and would welcome any thoughts or queries from practitioners involved in any spec spot disputes.
The IPKat wishes Caroline luck in her researches and hopes his readers will respond gallantly with offers of help. To contact Caroline, just click the link here.

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