New York, NY — From it’s inception in 2002, Verizon’s popular ‘Can you hear me now?’ ad campaign, , Americans have embraced the catch phrase. You’ll hear it uttered everywhere from Peoria to Pasadena. School kids, office clerks, and your grandma are cashing in on Verizon’s hysterical slogan. But none of those folks are making money off of it.
Stand up comedians are a different story. Some of them are pulling in up to $50 a week making jokes that increasingly include the copyrighted phrase ‘Can you hear me now?’. Verizon believes they are entitled to a piece of that action. Emboldened by their successful bid for Alltel, Verizon attorneys announced today an aggressive stance against comics using the phrase.
“Yeah, it’s hilarious,” said Verizon spokesman Andrew Lipke. “It’s also proprietary and we’re sick of these clowns ripping us off.” Lipke explained the company’s intention to serve papers at comedy clubs in all major metropolitan areas. “It’s big money now. We’re going after those jokers – and our lost profits!” said Lipke.