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Nader: 'Priceless' ads will run despite MasterCard suit

WASHINGTON (CNN) --- Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader said Thursday that MasterCard "should lighten up" as he refused to pull the plug on a parody campaign ad despite a $5 million lawsuit filed by the company.

MasterCard International Ltd. filed the lawsuit Wednesday against Nader, claiming a recent Green Party presidential ad "rips off" the company's "Priceless" advertising campaign. The company is seeking an order barring Nader from running the spot.

Nader
A plane writes Nader's name in the sky over the Democratic convention  

"MasterCard should lighten up. They're taking their name 'Master' too seriously," Nader said.

An attorney for the Nader campaign says the ads are simply political satire similar to "Saturday Night Live" skits, and are protected by the First Amendment.

The longtime consumer advocate said he was angered most by a MasterCard claim the Nader ads were designed to fool viewers into believing Nader and his candidacy are somehow connected to the company.

"Let me assure MasterCard's executives that the last thing I want consumers to believe is that my campaign is in the business of selling credit cards," he said. Nader said he called MasterCard's CEO Wednesday to "advise him how foolish it is for MasterCard to continue this litigation," promising to "counterattack."

"It is certainly time for everybody in the country to focus on the enormous gouging that millions of Americans are exposed to, the deceptive practices of credit card providers," he said.

Nader hovers between 3 percent and 5 percent support in most polls.

The Green party ads are currently running in Los Angeles and San Francisco during the Democratic National Convention. They've appeared in other major markets over the past 10 days.

 
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Thursday, August 17, 2000


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