Agencies Squabble Over 'Gigantic' Name

Neil Powell's Oddly Named Shop Sued for Trademark Infrigement

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NEW YORK ( -- We Are Gigantic is near the top of any list of weird agency names. Now it's the subject of a federal lawsuit.

The MDC Partners-backed ad shop born earlier this year out of the now-defunct Margeotes Fertitta Powell is being sued by Gigantic Marketing, a 2-year-old New York-based marketing firm. Gigantic is claiming that the new agency's name infringes on its trademark and is asking that We Are Gigantic be prevented from using the name or the term "Gigantic," according to papers filed in July.

'Absolutely no merit'
We Are Gigantic's Neil Powell said he's planning to keep the name. "We love the name. We think the lawsuit has absolutely no merit. So does our counsel and so does MDC. We plan to vigorously defend it to the bitter end. Claiming you own a word in an industry is absurd. We don't really know who this other company is and we don't see any confusion between what we do and what they do."

According to its website, Gigantic Marketing is "media-agnostic, creative and strategic resource for brands." Clients include Sirius Satellite Radio and a host of hotel brands and magazines. Gigantic Marketing started doing business in October 2005, according to the lawsuit.

Bernard Urban, president of Gigantic Marketing, said in an e-mail: "We are defending our brand at a time when brands are more important than ever. Per legal counsel, there is no comment beyond that."

From the ashes of MFP
We Are Gigantic was formed in April when MDC Partners decided to shutter MFP, where Mr. Powell was a partner, after a slide that included the loss of a few important clients. Some of those that remained were merged into MDC's Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners. Mr. Powell's new agency launched with a roster that included Mike's Hard Lemonade, Perry Ellis, Sapporo Beers and the Sundance Institute.

Mike's Hard Lemonade said it was searching for a new agency this summer, a review in which We Are Gigantic is defending, Mr. Powell said. He added that his firm is currently looking for a president and is taking part in a pitch for a spirits account now in review.
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