Yes, UGC, or user generated content, can come back to bite you in the butt. Subway is currently suing Quiznos for some user submitted videos. To quote the NY Times article,
Subway promptly sued Quiznos and iFilm, the Web site owned by Viacom that ran the contest, saying that many of the homemade videos made false claims and depicted its brand in a derogatory way. Subway is also objecting to ads that Quiznos itself created, showing people on the street choosing Quiznos over Subway.
Depending on the way this goes, it could spell bad things for companies using campaigns like this or campaigns that seem a little similar to those launched by others, like Larissa’s credit union video or BankerSpank.
Fairfax County Community Credit Union has launched a new campaign to have GenYer’s create a 30 second TV spot about why their GenY checking fits their lifestyle. They are giving away $1,000 and an iPhone to the winner. All submissions get posted up on their YouTube site and you get to vote on their website. Forum CU has done a good job with some ads featuring members and I think have had pretty good luck with them so I’ll be interested to see Fairfax’s results!
Also of interest, the campaign appears to be ran by CavionPlus, now part of Harland. I wonder if they have a prepackaged "GenY" marketing campaign…