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Was Lohan's $100M Suit Against E-Trade Crowdsourced?

Actress (and her Twitter Followers) Upset Over 'Milkoholic' Comment in Super Bowl Spot

By Published on . 59

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The $100 million lawsuit pop-tart Lindsay Lohan filed against E-Trade Financial Corp. this week over a 30-second Super Bowl spot from its agency Grey, New York, appears to have been a crowdsourced effort by friends and random fans of Ms. Lohan on Twitter.

Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan Credit: AP
A quick look back at her Twitter page shows that Ms. Lohan was watching the Feb. 7 Super Bowl broadcast, and its commercials, closely. She tweeted with some shock during the game: "Did that just happen? On that commercial? Or am I wrong? 5:44 PM Feb 7th via UberTwitter."

It appears that tweet was referring to the E-Trade spot "Girlfriend" -- one of two commercials the repeat Super Bowl advertiser had in the game this year -- in which we see a baby talking to his girlfriend about the importance of building a diversified portfolio, while she fumes wondering what else he's been up to. The girl baby says: "And that milkoholic Lindsay wasn't over?"

The style of the ad is much like ones before it in the "Talking Babies" series, in which the babies say something snarky and off-color. (Incidentally, Bob Garfield gave the commercial high marks.)

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Ms. Lohan's lawyer, Stephanie Ovadia, did not immediately return a request for comment, but alleges the spot is clearly a reference to her client. She told the New York Post: "Many celebrities are known by one name only, and E-Trade is using that knowledge to profit. ... They used the name Lindsay." She went on to say: "They're using her name as a parody of her life. Why didn't they use the name Susan? This is a subliminal message. Everybody's talking about it and saying it's Lindsay Lohan."

Indeed, a lot of people were talking about it on Twitter in the aftermath of the spot's airing -- with many egging Ms. Lohan on to file a lawsuit against E-Trade. Wrote someone named Ryan Curtis: "@lindsaylohan I would sue if I was you," and later saying "@lindsaylohan I really think you should look into it. It wasn't funny and rude."

She replied back to several of the comments, but seemed to take it in stride, if not be amused by it. Wrote Ms. Lohan to @bigbillybmoney "hahahaha vitamin D never tasted so good!" Another person named Alex Rodil joked with Lohan: "U darn milkoholic! HeHe" and attached this photo to the tweet.

To others, she suggested that the E-Trade ad might even spur on a second round of her "Got Milk" campaign from back in the day. Wrote Ms. Lohan: "@MissCarlaJeann :) @Eleven_11 i did a Got Milk campaign quite a bit ago- maybe it's time for round 2?!??!"

Whether her suit holds up in court remains to be seen; she's seeking an injunction to stop airing the ads and $100 million in damages. But it's pretty surprising that before filing the suit she didn't delete her Twitter comments.

E-Trade's agency, Grey, and CBS, which broadcast the Super Bowl and sold the air time, are not believed to be named in the suit.

E-Trade did not immediately return a request for comment.

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