When CBS Outdoor last fall spun off as Outfront Media Inc., it immediately caused problems for Denver-based LGBT publication Out Front magazine. Per a report in the Denver Business Journal by Greg Avery, the similarity of the two names and even more striking similarity of the two company logos has confused vendors as well as readers:
“They have advertisers who are sending us checks for billboards, and we have advertisers who are sending them checks for advertisements,” Out Front magazine owner and publisher Jerry Cunningham said.
That includes the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, which sent payment to the billboard company Outfront instead of to the Denver offices of the magazine where the symphony had actually placed the ad. Even the billboard company’s own attorneys have gotten confused, once, in error, sending an invoice for $11,000 worth of legal services to Out Front, the publication.
Per Avery, the Denver-based magazine has a circulation of around 24,000 and is distributed twice a month in New York as well as metropolitan portions of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. Cunningham is suing Outfront Media Inc. for unfair trade practices and misappropriation. Unfortunately for Cunningham, the CBS media giant registered its new name last fall ahead of the 39-year-old magazine, meaning he can’t sue for trademark infringement.
The magazine, which is also distributed in Wyoming, Utah and California, and soon hopes to expand to Seattle, certainly faces an uphill legal battle. Compounding the frustration for Cunningham is that Outfront Media Inc. posts billboard ads for companies that are seen as unfriendly to the LGBT community, like Chic-fil-A.
Read the rest of the Denver Business Journal exclusive here.