Thursday, July 16th, 2009

PARK OUTRAGE: HSBC Ad Campaign and the Lawyers Have Taken Over Madison Square Park

What follows is a picture of the legal disclaimer that you "sign" just by walking into one of New York City's fine public spaces today: Madison Square Park. This is it! This is the moment that the machines and the lawyers have taken over, creating a Bloombergian cyst of revoltingness! (The lawn of the park, by the way, is closed, so don't try to use your public space today, because the CITY HAS SOLD IT TO HSBC.) What is going on is that the bank called HSBC is having what they call a "soapbox" thing where you, the "park attendee," stand in a kiosk, in front of a picture of a baby or a gadget or a nuclear power plant and explain to cameras how it makes you feel, while you are digesting your Shake Shack burger. THEN THEY WILL MAKE ADS OUT OF YOU.

[Photo: Rod Townsend]

16 Comments / Post A Comment

jolie (#16)

Whoa whoa whoa – so I'm sure that HSBC has some pretty smart lawyers workin' for 'em (sorry, I turned into Sarah Palin there for a sec!) but there's no way this will hold up, right? I mean, "I didn't see the sign"?? And they have no signatures to prove that "Yes you did see the sign"?? So, umm, right? Attorneys?

brent_cox (#40)

It's customary boilerplate for the entertainment industry. Dunno if it's been tested in the courts, but it's what they do when they're filming in a public place.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Total bullshit. I piss on your legal sign thingy.

BadUncle (#153)

Can you put that on your letterhead, please?

HiredGoons (#603)

This isn't a jury summons, miss.

HiredGoons (#603)

They're probably hedging their bets on the fact that most people in New York will do anything to get on camera.

sigerson (#179)

Either this is a "contract of adhesion" of dubious enforceability or it is legally meaningless. The assumption of risk doctrine has been mostly eliminated from American common law in the "implied" form but the "express" form continues on. (Thus the note on the back of your Mets ticket that you assume the risk of getting brained by a foul ball). However, an exchange of something (a/k/a "consideration") would be required for an express assumption of the risk to be legally binding.

Now, as for your image and your consent to be filmed, your legal protections are somewhat weaker. It is a public place after all and there is fair use. It's different if you are speaking on film but if they just film you walking, you don't have much intellectual property at risk.

Rod T (#33)

You've obviously never seen me walk.

HiredGoons (#603)

My office is right around the corner from there.

Wait, so any minor you're with is considered part of "you."? What if your minor kills someone, or tries to sell heroin to sixth graders? Did "you" do these things?

I don't like this one bit.

GiovanniGF (#224)

Your minor sold me bad acid.

HiredGoons (#603)

My bad. Apparently.

brianvan (#149)

I walked through this morning, saw no such sign, but saw plenty of cameras and was even directed to do something for a shot. I want a paycheck or else I'm taking them to court.

Kataphraktos (#226)

Wow, the Shake Shack menu really has grown up. In a Macaulay Culkin kind of way.

atipofthehat (#797)

Madison Square Park?

Don't you mean Yum Brands Madison Square Park?

HiredGoons (#603)

it's really more of a garden.

str33tmedic (#1,158)

I didn't notice the sign at the time, but I'm pretty sure my dog pissed on it when I was walking him there.

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