Pro Racket Paintjob - illegal ?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Tombhoneb, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Tombhoneb

    Tombhoneb Rookie

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    Correct me if im wrong but surely it must be illegal for a company such as babolat or wilson to false advertise their rackets ?

    ie Nadal saying he uses a APD with cortex when he doesnt ?

    cheers
     
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  2. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    illegal no. imoral... maybe!
     
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  3. t-swede

    t-swede Rookie

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    heres some interesting read from head and richard gascquet enjoy !


    [B]You play with the MG Extreme Pro. Why do you like that racquet?[/B]I really like this racquet because it’s powerful, and that is important for my game. I can play with a lot of topspin which is crucial for my backhand. The MG Extreme Pro helps me to improve my game.

    what a joke everyone knows that he plays with the instinct tour xl including himself yet he keeps the consumer believing otherwise lame !!
     
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  4. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

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    technically, companies are not advertising their rackets through pros. that's just how we interpret it (and they obviously know that). they're simply paying the pros to use their stick knowing that the audience is watching. so, they aren't doing anything illegal. it's quite different from actual advertising in which companies ad. a product with specific specifications. if the actual product does not meet those specification, only then is there some sort of a violation...
     
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  5. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

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    when a player says "i'm using so and so...", it's HIM lying, not the company falsely advertising. and lying isn't illegal!
     
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  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Don't forget that Head probably makes 10-20 different racquets all with the marketing name of "MG Extreme Pro", only one of which they sell to the public. So, yes, Gasquet does indeed use A "MG Extreme Pro", just not the same "MG Extreme Pro" as the one we can buy in the stores. So unless a company specifically says that a certain pro uses - "the SAME racquet at the one sold in the stores", like Wilson has said about Federer's K90, just saying that a pro uses a certain model name doesn't really mean anything because there could be many different racquets all given the same marketing name. Internally, they have no model names at all, just code numbers to differentiate them.

    I don't think there's a law against companies giving many different variations of a product the same marketing name when they're only selling one of the variations in the market.
     
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  7. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Next someone will suggest that NASCAR drivers are driving actual Fords, Chevrolets, Pontiacs, and Toyotas - the same cars one can buy at the local dealership --!

    Really, by and large, professional tennis rackets are closely analogous to the relationship these NASCAR race cars have to their consumer bases. The race car is merely a facsimile of the consumer good, just like the tennis pro's frame is a highly tailored, custom item, often made to look like the mass-produced version one can find in the local sporting goods store. This practice seems much more widespread nowadays than it did 20 years ago, though.

    But in the end, who cares? Why does this matter so much? The pro is paid to "endorse" a certain model for a certain brand, hence he is being paid to sing its praises, even if he is earning his paycheck using something else, albeit disguised to look like his "signature racket." Anyone who feels shocked and manipulated by marketing exercises such as this is probably a bit naiive
     
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  8. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    40 years ago that was true... NASCAR was literally "win on sunday, sell on monday."

    But for a number of performance and safety reasons, now they're just identical frames with identical body covers with some lame stickers to make them look different.
     
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  9. Tombhoneb

    Tombhoneb Rookie

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  10. LafayetteHitter

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    Surely people can find something better to do. Why is this so important that people have to try to figure out a way to profit from it.
     
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  11. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But even almost 40 years ago, Rod Laver painted his wood Dunlop Maxply Fort racquets to look like aluminum Chemold racquets (who was sponsoring him at the time). Yes, he painted wood racquets to try and make them look like they were aluminum! Not easy to do.
     
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  12. 10isDad

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    #12
  13. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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  14. Rorsach

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    And Lendl with his Kneissl/Adidas/Mizuno or McEnroe and Navratilova with the Max200G or Becker with his Puma/Estusa.
     
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  15. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But McEnroe always used a real Max 200G, the same one we could buy in the stores. He never had it paintjobbed AFAIK.
     
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  16. tennisfever8181

    tennisfever8181 Rookie

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  17. Rorsach

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    He did have it completely blacked out for a time (for whatever reason). Don't know if this constitutes a paintjob though.
     
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  18. Tombhoneb

    Tombhoneb Rookie

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    I was thinking that as well but then it has the picture of the cortex technology therefore making it the APDC ... maybe they have done it in a certain way to cover their ass !!
     
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  19. JediMindTrick

    JediMindTrick Professional

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    I don't think it's legal, I think it's false advertising. It's just that no one sued them yet.
     
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  20. maximo

    maximo Banned

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    Is there any players that don't use paint jobs?
     
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  21. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    ...amateurs... that's about it.
     
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  22. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Actually, many amateurs such as juniors and college players use paintjobs, too.
     
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  23. saram

    saram Legend

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    The advertisement in Tennis Mag says that Rafa is using the APD "with cortex".
     
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  24. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    He is, it's just that his cortex is made out of paint.

    Also, when I say Amateur I mean someone who isn't being paid to use the racquet, or given free racquets. Pros have to endorse the latest and greatest racquets, but on the other hand, they almost never change racquets (they do once in a while when they feel they need something more)... hence why you have paint jobs.

    Amateurs (that is, recreational players) are about the only players who don't use paint jobs... because we're the ones actually buying the new models.

    I have a theory that the younger a pro player is, the more likely he's actually playing with the racquet he says he is... although it's still very unlikely (since the racquet they play with as a junior is going to be a 10 year-old model by the time they reach pros, and racquet models change every 3-4 years).
     
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  25. RFRF

    RFRF Semi-Pro

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    false advertising

    i called the the head manager of australia last week and threatend to sue as i brought a micro gel prestige as shown to be used by safin in fact its not and its a head prestige classic, they said just take the raquet back for a full refund. THEY ARE ALL SCARED!!! they know we will win in court and they will have to pay all court costs, lets all stick together and keep harrasing them and maybe this will some day stop! the reason they do this is because they sell us the junk at a top price and the pros get the real deal because it costs more to make as qaulity control and materials are very strict. i know most of us arnt at ATP level but we deserve to buy what we see not what they want us to see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  26. saram

    saram Legend

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    I know that people are being thrown into the public eye as using a certain product and that is just successful marketing. Everyone and anyone buying a stick because their favorite player uses it deserves to be deceived in some regard and or fashion.

    We should aim to use what works for us--not our favorite player on tour. It is not like we have their strokes, stature, intensity, strings, weight/balance, etc....

    Only fools buy a stick to be like their idols....(and, I was once a fool as well).
     
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  27. Tennis_Freak

    Tennis_Freak New User

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    Ana Ivanovic uses the actual Yonex that is sold in stores. I know this because I know someone who strings for Yonex team.
     
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  28. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    I have searched for photos or matches with Laver using a wood racquet painted to look like a Aluminum racquet. I would love to see some. I have found these with Laver using Chemold Aluminum and his Dunlop Maxply Fort with all the paint stripped off.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  29. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    im not sure i get it right. please explain otherwise but i understood this: you are claiming over getting a better racquet than the one you were suposed to get? if anything you should pay more!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
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  30. 10isDad

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    The country of Australia has a head manager?!?!:oops:


    My interpretation of this is he/she bought a MG Prestige, then returned it because it's not what Safin actually uses. He/she is saying that all the quality control goes into the sticks for the pros while the ones sold to us are "junk".
     
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  31. PimpMyGame

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    In order to sue a company surely you have to prove that you have lost something financially. Yes I am sure some of the racket companies' advertising "puff" is close to the mark but last time I checked nobody lost anything because Rafa uses an old APD with a PJ.

    If there are people out there with nothing else to worry about other than advertising a product a little too close to the knuckle then please can you share your secret?
     
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  32. 10isDad

    10isDad Hall of Fame

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    "While the terms "false" and "deceptive" are essentially the same for most, being deceptive is not the same as producing deception. What is illegal is the potential to deceive, which is interpreted to occur when consumers see the advertising to be stating to them, explicitly or implicitly, a claim that they may not realize is false and material. The latter means that the claim, if relied on for making a purchasing decision, is likely to be harmful by adversely affecting that decision."
     
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  33. kabob

    kabob Professional

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    The paintjob is just advertising. When you see a city bus going by with a Coca Cola ad plastered across the side, do you expect soda to come gushing out when the doors open? Come on, people, give the whole PJ issue a rest.
     
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  34. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    Um, people don't expect coke to gush out of the bus. That's understood as advertising.

    On the other hand, racquet companies directly suggest that the racquets they sell are the same thing that the player's use. Customizing a racquet should be assumed but anyone can do that.
     
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  35. RCizzle65

    RCizzle65 Hall of Fame

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    Go ahead, take them to court, you are going to lose anyways they can get any decent lawyer and find either a loophole, or prove it's not false advertising. Seriously why are you all making a big deal out of this, it's not like any of you guys are going to take a company to court over a tennis racket paint job.
     
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  36. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

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    Firstly, may I gently point out that US law isn't the same as that used on the rest of the planet, so the question of what is legal or not will vary from country to country.

    In the UK, there are a number of ways of tackling the falsehoods propogated by manufacturers; firstly we have an Advertising Standards Authority, who have the power to make an advertiser withdraw a misleading or untruthful advert. Beyond that we have recent legislation to protect consumers in the form of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (2008) and the Misrepresentation Act (1967) which in the latter case helpfully places the burden of proof on the defendent. So in the case of racquet paint jobs it would require, for example, Head to show that they didn't know that they had supplied a particular tennis pro with a different racquest from the one they said he used, and that someone else had gone to the trouble of painting it to look like their current racquet.

    Head have also misled their shareholders by claiming in their Annual Report and Accounts that Andre Agassi used Flexpoint technology to reach a grand slam final. That's quite naughty too.

    As I have said on this forum before, when I found out Agassi didn't use Flexpoint racquets I threatened Head in the UK with legal action and they agreed to exchange two two year old racquets for brand new ones (which I promptly sold on ****).

    Personally, I will never buy tennis equipment from brands that actively deceive the public. Fortunately I found Vantage racquets!!!

    I also would endorse the original poster's point that the manufacturers do this to enable them to provide inferior products on which they can make greater profits; although they also do it because it has become standard to reinvigorate the market each year by offering some technological 'innovation' that causes tennis playing mugs to go into the shop and convince themselves that the claims made for it is true. Heck, I was dumb enough to buy a Flexpoint racquet and that technology makes no logical sense at all: what happens to the cupping effect when you hit the ball above the centre line??

    Either the people who are saying it's not illegal are living in a country with shoddy consumer protection - I'd have thought you'd have something in place when it transpired all that Snake Oil didn't actually make you better; or else they are adopting a default position that because it happens and the company is getting away with it it must be legitimate.
     
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  37. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

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    With respect, this is a stupid post. Some people might have more backbone than you, and in any event in some countries (like mine) it's quite straightforward and inexpensive to instigate legal action. I have taken two companies to court successfully.
     
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  38. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

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    Remind me to sell you one of my "really it is a real diamond really" rings.

    Would you mind if you bought a Wilson K-Factor and it turned out to be a Chinese knock-off? Would you mind even the specs all matched?
     
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  39. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I think some of you guys are missing the point. "False advertising" is when a company advertizes a certain benefit to be gained by the consumer from use of its product, such as, "Tide will get your clothes whiter than any other laundry detergent." If it doesn't, then you can claim it's a case of false advertising.

    However, no specific claims of any consumer benefit is promised by the practice of pros using paintjobs. They never specifically claimed that if you bought a Head Flexpoint Radical, that you would be able to play tennis as well as Andre Agassi. Thus, no promises were unfulfilled because no promises of benefits from the use of the product were ever specifically made. In order for you to successfully sue Head in a court of law, you would have to prove that by using the retail racquet that you purchased, you can only play at best at a 4.0 level, but if you used Agassi's actual racquet, you would be able to play just as well as Agassi, since you were disappointed that after buying the racquet you were still not able to play as well as Agassi. Good luck proving that because you can't. However, if you bought the racquet just to look like Agassi, then that benefit has indeed been met because the retail racquet looks just like Agassi's racquet to anyone watching you play from a distance.

    So I think people should just stop getting all bent out of shape over this paintjob issue. It's just marketing and they do it of course to sell more racquets. And if they didn't do it, they would sell far fewer racquets, and each racquet would cost twice as much as they do now. Do you guys want to pay that much more for tennis racquets?
     
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  40. KBlade Pro

    KBlade Pro New User

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    They don't make a claim of increasing the buyer's performance, but they do make the claim that a certain pro uses a particular racquet. For example, if you go to the Babolat web page and you click on "Aeropro Drive," you will see the statement "used by Rafael Nadal." (Cortex technology is shown so we can assume that they mean the cortex version.) Now based on that statement, any reasonable person would conclude that Babolat means that Nadal used the racquet shown on that webpage. But is that true? No, if you believe that he uses the non-cortex version with PJ. This is false advertising! They lied. They didn't say he's using a variant of the racquet or a previous generation of the racquet. No, they are saying he is using this racquet!

    And he is not taking the stock racquet and customizing it. He is using a previous generation of the current racquet, which qualifies it as a whole different racquet. The fact that Babolat is advertising the new cortex version as new means that even they see the cortex racquet as a separate racquet from the previous generation.

    Just the fact that they feel compelled to try to cover up the actual racquets used by the pros with PJs means that they are trying to hide something. It's deceptive and it's false advertising.

    Did you feel lied to when you first found out about PJs? I certainly did. I never bought a racquet based on that fact that some pro is using it, but I still felt lied to... by the players and by the companies. The bottom line is they're stating a fact that is false, and that is false advertising.
     
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  41. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

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    I can't speak for US law, but your point doesn't hold in the UK. What are the laws on misleading shareholders in the US? Head claimed that there innovative technology was so good it helped Andre Agassi reach a Grand Slam final!
     
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  42. 10isDad

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    So, somebody sue already - maybe you'll scare the manufacturers to the point they all re-release their old models

    Then maybe these pointless, neverending threads will go away.
     
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  43. ElMagoElGato

    ElMagoElGato Rookie

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    I have an APD Cortex. Please leave
    Babolat alone and let me keep saying "I have a racket used by Nadal." Besides, the racket is actually good for me and I don't want to use a true Nadal racket. Does anybody?
     
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  44. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    I think what the Racquet Companies are doing is illegal. A few years ago Nike was sued over false advertising claiming that Tiger Woods used a certain Golf Ball when he did not.
    http://articles.latimes.com/2000/aug/23/sports/sp-9017

    Unfair-Business Practices Suit Says Nike Golf Ads Lack Accuracy
    August 23, 2000 in print edition D-10

    Tiger Woods endorses “Nike Tour Accuracy” golf balls in TV and magazine ads, but he really plays with custom-made balls unavailable to everyday duffers, Nike acknowledged Tuesday after being sued in federal court.

    Nike Inc. said the balls the long-hitting Woods uses have a slightly harder inner and outer core than the balls sold to the public.

    In the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, a nonprofit group called Public Remedies Inc. claimed Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., was engaging in unfair business practices. It asks that Nike’s “ill-gotten gains” be restored to the public.

    “Tiger Woods does not play the Nike Tour Accuracy golf ball, but instead plays one with a different composition and performance characteristics specially made for him … and not available to the general public,” the suit said.

    Mike Kelly, marketing director for Nike Golf, said it’s common practice in the golfing world to sell the public different products than what the pros really use.

    Joe Gomes, a spokesman for Titleist, said its players use the same products they advertise. And if a player uses a “tweaked” version of a club, he said, a consumer could special order it.


    This is the samething that is going on in Tennis.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
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  45. jmsx521

    jmsx521 Hall of Fame

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    I also can’t stand the gimmick of paint jobs. In the name of money, people would do anything. I am pretty sure they are going to make less money if they said our player chose to use our old technology instead.

    But the whole point of advertising in current times (and I work with advertisement) is for profit obviously. So, companies and advertisers allow themselves to deliver the message in ways that entice the consumer… even if those ways are pure brainwashing. And since laws against deceptive advertisement are loose, they do so because they can get away with it.

    In the name of money, soda manufacturers will not tell you stop drinking this crap… start drinking water instead. Cigarette manufacturers – as well – were enticing smokers into their product for how many decades, before they put the warning label. And even with the warning label, they still intend to brainwash you… and they’ll do so since they can get-away with it.

    When was the last time a consumer sued a major fast-food chain, because the burger advertisement appeared so delicious in the advertisement, but when the consumer unwrapped the burger and lifted the bun… it looked like a steamroller had ran over it!? We see these things every day, accept that’s how advertisements & corporations function… and instead of being involved in controlling how corporations should communicate to us, we are passive and walk-away, accepting it as – oh, well – if it’s that way, then that’s how it is… assuming we can’t change things because corporations are like some sort of untouchable supreme entities.

    Moral restriction of greed and desire to have more-and-more is just not enough…. Capitalism is a travesty, and should’ve been outlawed long time ago: It obviously doesn’t function well for ALL people, but for the fewer smarter and elite who control the shots to favor themselves!

    Anyway, how is false advertisement in other sports?
     
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  46. slkbassist

    slkbassist Rookie

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    I don't find it ilegal at all. As mentioned by some, they are not claiming you can play like the athlete. They are just using the athlete's image to attract buyers. Just like clothes and food products...Lebron can't play like he does drinking Sprite all day, Jordan and Bird surely wouldn't have been able to move like that eating McDonalds and Lays all the time. And you know Gatorade, they have special formulas for athlethes not sold in stores!

    I think that the issue is not with the PJs, the real problem is that companies don't continue of make available products that athletes use. The Head Prestige Classic, is an example of a racquet that should remain in production...there seems to be a wide enough demand, with most reviews claiming it to still be the most superior version of the racquet despite there being about 5 incarnations of it afterwards. Racquets should also be available to the public if an athlete uses a common though now extinct frame with a PJ...again pointing to the PC, if say Safin is using a straight up PJ PC, it should be still available.
    However, custom made frames, are a different story, since it wouldn't be possible, it wouldn't be cost effective to try and make each frame variety.
     
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  47. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    You see there was a law suit in Sports with false advertising. Nike was sued over Tiger Woods' Golf Ball. Nike advertised that Tiger used the Nike Tour Accuracy when he did not. Tiger used a custom made ball. Days after Nike was sued they quickley released Tigers Golf Ball to the public.

    http://www.sportslawnews.com/archive/Articles 2000/WoodsNikesuit.htm
    Nike Admits Tiger Woods' Golf Balls Are Unavailable to the Public

    In suit claiming unfair business practices, company states that alterations are 'minor'


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    San Francisco, August 27, 2000 -- Nike has done it again.

    After being sued in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Nike acknowledged that the golf balls which Tiger Woods uses in professional competition are not available to the public. A nonprofit group, Public Remedies, filed a claim alleging that Nike is engaging in unfair business practices. At issue is the fact that Woods plays with "custom made balls unavailable" to consumers, rather than the "Nike Tour Accuracy" golf balls which Woods endorses in print and television advertisements. Additionally,
    Public Remedies is calling for Nike's "ill gotten gains be restored to the public", according to the Associated Press.

    In response to the lawsuit, a Nike spokesperson admitted that that the balls which Woods uses in competition have a "slightly harder inner and outer core than the balls sold to the public." Nike, however, also contends that it is commonplace for manufactures to make minor specification adjustments to the equipment which professionals use in competition. This notion is disputed by other golf equipment manufactures, such as Titleist and Callaway, who claim that the public is offered the same equipment that their professionals endorse, provided that the consumer may have to wait only for the equipment to be mass produced.

    While Woods officially switched to the Nike ball before the U.S. Open this year, he claims that he can see no "appreciable difference" in the distance between the Nike ball and the Titleist ball, which he used previously, and which is available to the public, according to ESPNews.

    Only days after this lawsuit was filed, Nike announced that the exact ball which Woods uses in competition would soon become available to the public, pending U.S. Golf Association approval, and be marketed as "Tour Accuracy TW". It is a decision which Nike maintains had been in the works long before the suit against them was filed. Nike also stated that the company would continue to defend against the pending lawsuit


    Believe you me if a similar Law Suit was filed against the likes of HEAD, Babolat, and Wilson, you have the same kind of result.
     
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  48. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    No, I never lost a minute of sleep over paintjobs because I don't buy racquets just because of the pros.

    And, no, it is not false advertising because the company did not fail to deliver a promised benefit from the use of its product.
     
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  49. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I don't think most Head shareholders care what technology Agassi used to get to a Grand Slam final. What they care about is how many racquets Head can sell. And if paintjobs help Head to sell more racquets, then its shareholders would LOVE paintjobs.
     
    #49
  50. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,454
    But it says in that press release that Nike is still fighting the lawsuit, so have they lost yet? And they claim that they were going to eventually release Wood's actual ball to the public anyway and it was not as a result of the lawsuit. So did the public really "win" this lawsuit?
     
    #50

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