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Parody of GEICO Gecko Will Not Go to Court

Both sides in a dispute over what direct-writer GEICO alleged was a misappropriation of its cartoon gecko have backed off a court challenge. GEICO had...
May 9, 2006

Both sides in a dispute over what direct-writer GEICO alleged was a misappropriation of its cartoon gecko have backed off a court challenge. GEICO had filed suit against Tri-State Consumer Insurance Co. of Jericho, New York for poking fun at GEICO's little green talking gecko in print and radio ads. One week after the suit was filed, Tri-State said that it will discontinue its ads, and GEICO will withdraw its lawsuit that sought an injunction and damages, alleging the ads were unfair and harmed GEICO's image.

According to news reports of the original complaint filed by GEICO, the commercial featured a character identified as a gecko inviting New Yorkers to talk about car insurance. As the gecko prepares to suggest that listeners switch their insurance to GEICO, a crashing sound followed by an "unsavory 'splat' sound" suggest that the gecko was struck down by a skidding car, the filing said. Thereafter, it said, "a gruff voice boldly proclaims, 'Enough with the gecko already! You want cuddly cartoon characters or better rates?'"

The complaint said the commercial then recommended that vehicle owners save money by insuring with Tri-State. After the gecko proclaims "I'm cute," a car apparently driven by the announcer squished it.

GEICO's Gecko No Longer an Issue (NY Newsday 5/3/06)

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