Transfer Pricing Associates

How Taco Bell could use a LAPD police car in their commercial

post Friday March 8, 2013

money, freedigitalphotos

Super Bowl viewers experienced a range of commercials, some controversial others expected. One of the most discussed was Taco Bell’s Spanish rendition of “We Are Young”. Despite the grey area of legality, Taco Bell used a “LAPD” like police car as part of the story. While using the actual logos is illegal (companies must obtain permission), many entertainment companies use similar logos and markings to create the iconic image.

In the advertisement, an aged man lays in his bed, dressed in his daily clothes, waiting for the nurse to come and say  “good night”. After the nurse leaves, he jumps out of his bed and sneaks out of the retirement home. Outside, his friends are waiting for him in a green car and they head out to have fun. They swim in a stranger’s pool, lay fireworks in front of people’s doors, go to a club, and the aged man even gets a tattoo. Finally, they end up at Taco Bell, and an LAPD patrol car passes by while looking at the group. At the end of the commercial, the elderly group return to the retirement center.

The LAPD receives many applications, about 20 per week, from entertainment companies and commercial makers with the request to use one of the LAPD police cars in their shows and commercials. Most are rejected. Like Taco Bell’s Super Bowl ad, companies who do use a police car in their commercials modify the car enough to avoid an actual infringement of the city's marks and to prevent being sued.The LAPD do lend their cars for commercials. However, a written agreement must be present accompanied by a monetary renumeration for the city.

There is a difference between the car from the Taco Bell commercial and a real LAPD police car. While a real LAPD cars says "to protect and to serve", the department's motto since 1963, the Taco Bell police car says "to protect and serve". Furthermore, the slogan is on the incorrect side of the door, and the font and color used for the word “police” and car number is different from the original.  

Source: Daily News

Image source: Free Digital Photos

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