Journal Responds to Times Cease-and-Desist Letter: ‘We’re Within our Rights’

0604wsjletter Journal Responds to Times Cease and Desist Letter: Were Within our RightsThe Journal has responded to The Times‘ cease-and-desist letter over the “Not Just Wall Street. Every Street” ad campaign. The Journal said, in words more bitter than this, essentially: Stuff it.

And if you thought The Times‘ letter was catty? Well, this raises the ante a bit more. And even though the letter is signed by Dow Jones marketing head Jennifer Jehn, we certainly sense some Australian flair (ahem, Robert Thomson) in this letter.

Update: Alas, the “Street” War looks like it’s coming to an end. Times Company spokesman Bob Christie has told us that the Times will not pursue legal action. “They have stopped,” he said in an email. “We wish they would understand that theft of intellectual property is no joke.”

Here is the rather entertaining letter:

Dear Mr. Samson:

We half-expected to hear from you. The other half thought you might have more important things to worry about.

When we saw the “catchy” phrase, we couldn’t help but think you were referring to the launch of our Greater New York section – the whole point of which is to cover New York beyond Wall Street.

After all, did you not have us in mind when you conceived the ad?

I won’t belabor your legal claim. Our lawyers tell us that we were within our rights to use the tag line to compare our two offerings.

And are you seriously suggesting New Yorkers might be confused into thinking you were affiliated with or endorsing our New York section? We are not holding our breath for that to happen.

But don’t be too concerned. We never intended to run the ad for long.

We think we’ve made our point. And to get a rise out of you is just a special bonus.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Jehn