An Irvine-based hair and beauty company is suing Us Weekly in Orange County Superior Court for fraud, negligence and breach of contract surrounding allegedly botched advertising plans for the publication's 2012 "Emmy's" edition.
According to DreamCatchers International, Inc. attorney Christopher M. Brainard, company officials negotiated with an Us Weekly sales rep to buy five, full pages of advertising and wanted the ads to run in October 2012, but the rep convinced them to switch to an earlier date to coincide with the publication's more popular "Emmy's" edition.
In the civil complaint, Brainard asserts that DreamCatchers ended up getting space that wasn't in the "Emmy's" issue because of trickery by the sales rep, who sold the slots the company wanted to other advertisers for higher rates.
"[Us Weekly officials] knowingly and maliciously conspired and collaborated with each other to create false documents and specious disclosures and calendars so that [DreamCatchers] would be given the illusion of receiving something which was not true," the lawsuit claims.
DreamCatchers hoped to run ads prior to a trade show to entice hairstylists to their training sessions but the alleged national advertising screw up significantly undermined attendance, according to the lawsuit.
The company is seeking more than $100,000 in costs plus punitive damages.
Lawyers for Us Weekly--a successful media entity that focuses on entertainment and celebrity news, and is part of a corporate empire that includes Rolling Stone magazine and Men's Journal--have not yet responded to the complaint.
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Court records in Santa Ana also show that a superior court judge has not been selected to handle the case.
DreamCatchers asserts in its advertising that it sells "the world's best, permanent, reusable, non-damaging hair extensions."