Chocolate Fight

Mars says Hershey is blatantly copying its Dove chocolate ads

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McLean-based Mars Inc. is suing The Hershey Co. over copying its Dove chocolate ads.

The hometown candy giant says Hershey has blatantly copied its TV ads for the popular line of chocolate and Mars has filed for copyright infringement and trade dress infringement in federal court in Alexandria, according to the Washington Business Journal.

In its suit, Mars claims that Hershey's Bliss chocolate ads, which began airing in October, copy Dove ads’ use of “an image of a silky scarf-like image, a pillow shape emerging from a pool of chocolate, a series of laudatory words displayed in a distinctive white and gold cursive script …[and] an image of the head and shoulders of a smiling woman with long brown hair."

Dove originally aired ads like that in March 2008, the company said.

Mars also claims at least two former Mars employees who worked on its Dove advertising campaign were hired by Hershey and helped create the Bliss chocolate commercials, the Journal reported.

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