Rouge Wins Court Case; Newad To Appeal

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

After a two year battle, Newad Media Inc.’s injunctive proceedings against Rouge Media Group were dismissed when the Superior Court of Quebec ruled in favour of Rouge.

However, Michael Reha, CEO of Newad, says that Newad plans to appeal the ruling, and will be filing with Quebec Court of Appeal within a week, saying that Rouge is infringing on its rights, and asking that the court reverse the decision and asking for an injunction.

“If the Court of Appeal doesn’t reverse the decision, we have other recourses and will study these,” Reha says. “There are a lot of new facts that have come up since this case was filed two years ago.”

In the original proceedings, dismissed by the Honorable Kevin Downs, Newad alleged that it had complete exclusivity on any and all advertising vehicles in the establishments with which it held a licensed contract.

Regarding the recent ruling, Martin Poitras, Rouge Media Group’s president and founder, says, “The ruling was great news for us after a long and taxing dispute between the two companies that was unfortunately taken outside of the courtroom more than it was in. Not only is this great news for Rouge, it’s great news for Canadian Colleges, Universities and Resto-Bars in Canada who require supplementary income to operate within their highly competitive environments, as they both are now free to seek ad revenue opportunities from a variety of suppliers, if they so choose. This ruling is also noteworthy for the Canadian media buying community who may have been hesitant to invest in indoor advertising, given the dispute put forward by Newad.”

The court ruling issued on January 6, 2011, concludes that the exclusivity claimed by Newad Media was limited to the nature of the product it markets, which are very different than those marketed by Rouge.

“We’re very disappointed with the recent ruling,” says Reha. “It was not well founded in law or facts.The case was limited in scope and only involved 26 out of our 2,000 locations. We will continue to fight for our rights.”

However, Martin Poitras says, “This ruling allows Rouge to continue with our massive expansion plans, opening the door to new markets, environments and continued product innovations that meet the needs and demands of our current and future clients. In addition to Rouge, last week’s ruling will benefit other indoor media operators, as it will prevent those from squatting on unfounded exclusivity clauses and allow those who wish to pioneer and develop new ways to connect marketers/brands with their ever changing consumer.”

“We are extremely happy to move forward, working to create and contribute to a healthy, vibrant and competitive indoor advertising industry” says Poitras.

We have a feeling that this could be a long, drawn-out battle.

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