Classic Media Files Lawsuit Over Lassie

Nov 28, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
A media company recently filed a lawsuit against J.G. Wentworth, alleging the dog used in commercials resembles its legendary character, Lassie.

Classic Media recently filed a $1 million lawsuit against financial services firm J.G. Wentworth and its advertising agency for their TV commercial depicting a dog that Classic Media said is too similiar to its legendary character, Lassie.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Classic Media owns the rights to Lassie, the canine character that was made famous through a television show that ran between 1954 and 1973, and multiple films.

The typical storylines from the Lassie television show and movies involved the dog helping its fictional owners during times of need.

The lawsuit filed by Classic Media alleges J.G. Wentworth's commercial, which featured a collie that looks like Lassie, is a replica of the classic Lassie storyline, stated the Hollywood Reporter.

In the commercial, a mother is telling her son that if they don't get money soon, they'll lose their home. The son responds by asking her why she doesn't get structured settlement payments each month, but the mom says it isn't enough. The dog that is allegedly similar to Lassie races in and gets J.G. Wentworth to assist them, the source stated.

A 1994 "Lassie" motion picture was nominated for two Young Artist Awards, including Best Family Motion Picture, which it won, and Best Performance by a Young Actress Co-Starring in a Motion Picture.