Adrants.com published a fake ad of the plane floating in the Hudson with the tagline, “The Hudson Crash: One more reason to fly Virgin.” Virgin Air did not take kindly to this parody. The complaint’s listing of facts reads like a Dragnet episode. “Virgin America employees learned of this advertisement at 11:23pm on January 17, 2009.” By 8:30 the next morning they had written Adrants to get the the ad taken down and by 11:18am PST, their lawyers had sent them a detailed email demanding the parody or “advertisement” be taken down. It took another day for Adrants to remove the ad from its site and obviously that wasn’t good enough for Virgin because they filed this trademark complaint in Federal Court for the Northern District of California. Virgin reveals their extreme sensitivity to the national mood with this sentence in the complaint.
“Virgin America like the rest of the country cannot compliment Captain Sullenberger, his crew US Airways enough for their heroic actions.”