Many dog lovers are aware that Ellen DeGeneres, TV talk show host, is very much a dog lover. One dog lover from California, Madalyn Ruggiero, is a big fan of The Ellen Show. So much so, in fact, that she was willing to fork over $6,000 for a 6-week billboard display of her dog in attempts to get a chance to meet Ms. DeGeneres.
Ruggiero’s billboard featured her Golden Retriever Denali dressed in a collared shirt and blonde wig, reminiscent of Ellen’s own haircut. The picture was accompanied by the words “Ellen, Denali the dog wants to meet you!”
“I know she’s a big dog lover,” Ms. Ruggiero said. “I wasn’t trying to make a mess. I was just trying to do something I thought would be fun. He’s huggable and lovable; I just want everyone to know my dog.”
Unfortunately, execs at Warner Bros. didn’t take too kindly to the use of Ellen’s name and likeness and contacted lawyers to have the billboard removed just a few days after it was put up. Representatives claimed that the image and use of Ellen’s name made it appear that they were trying to trade on the public image of Ellen DeGeneres.
Billboard salesmen Saul Aguilar wrote an e-mail to Ms. Ruggiero explaining the removal of the billboard telling her that he would attempt to get her a partial refund. “However, I will do everything in my power to help you get the dog on Ellen’s show,” he included in his message.
“I though the Ellen show would have fun with D showing off his talented yet professional doggie modeling skills, but apparently I was wrong,” Ruggiero wrote on Denali’s Facebook page which has over 26,000 fans.
What do you think? Were the representatives of WB justified in bringing down the billboard?