ClearPlay/PR Case Study - INK inc PR

ClearPlay/Case Study

ClearPlay Case Study

ClearPlay creates technology and products that filter sex and nudity, violence and language from DVD’s. This technology is particularly useful for parents that want to protect their children from the “inappropriate” material found in many movies. The company was preparing to sign major agreements to launch a ClearPlay-enabled DVD player for the consumer market when they were hit with a lawsuit for copyright infringement. ClearPlay was in need of PR help to defend their case and maintain their reputation, while still promoting the usefulness and value of their product.


ClearPlay needed PR help on two fronts. First, the company wanted consumer media publicity that highlighted the product and its features. Second, the company needed help differentiating itself from some of its competitors. Those competitors and ClearPlay were named in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the Directors Guild of America. ClearPlay needed INK to help show that its technology did NOT violate copyright laws.


 ClearPlay was going up against Hollywood giants that carried a lot of influence in the press. 


Let’s see, INK got my company featured in Forbes, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, PBS, NPR, BBC, MSNBC, CNN and about a million others. Got to love those results! These guys are absolute pros, but as nice to work with as you can get. I really like their creative billing model–you pay for what you get. Lots of PR agencies talk a good game, get you on retainer, and then tell you how hard it is to get publicity. (“You were mentioned on a blog last week!”) INK stands behind its work financially, which is gutsy, confident and great business in this economy.

—Bill Aho - CEO, Founder


In order to ensure that ClearPlay was viewed positively by the audience, INK positioned it as the small company that went to battle against eight major Hollywood studios for the protection of family viewing rights. Because ClearPlay was already set to receive potentially negative media coverage in regards to the legal case, it was important that INK strategically timed press releases that included colorful, fiery quotes from ClearPlay CEO Bill Aho. INK set up interviews with reporters identified as regular followers of the legal story to speak with Aho and ClearPlay attorney, Andrew Bridges.

INK secured spots for Bill Aho to appear on -air with CNNfn “Moneyline”, KNX-AM Los Angeles,and The Today Show. “Meet and Greets” were set up with key reporters in the entertainment press  to brief them on ClearPlay’s position and to demo the technology which resulted in press coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times.

Media outreach continued with events unfolding at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) landing press coverage in USA Today, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, Consumer Electronics Daily, and Forbes feature story “Monster in a Box”.  Broadcast interviews were secured on CNBC “Power Lunch”, KTNV (ABC in Las Vegas), CNN Saturday Morning News, and KNX-AM in Los Angeles.

As the legal case progressed with the Actors Guild, INK secured press coverage in the Associated Press, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Deseret News as well as interviews on Good Day Live, Good Day LA, ABC News Radio and CNet Radio. Several opinion pieces were written in Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Chicago Tribune. 




Product Launch mixed with a litte Controversy

INK secured dozens of media placements in top broadcast news outlets highlighting the product and the controversial  battle with Hollywood. Multiple coverage in CNBC, CNN, USA Today, Good Day Live, Associated Press, Business Week, Forbes, and Reuters.




CES Coverage

INK secured product coverage & the controversy surrounding the DVD player at CES. ClearPlay founder, Bill Aho appeared on CNBC “Power Lunch”, KTNV (ABC in Las Vegas), Associated Press Radio, CNN Saturday Morning News, KNX-AM/Los Angeles, and in print media USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, and Consumer Electronics Daily. Forbes wrote a feature story “Monster in a Box”.

Maintaining Positive Reputation

Our tactics of letters to the editors and the OP-Ed “There Shouldn’t Be a Remote Control on How We Watch DVD’s” showed that ClearPlay technology was not a violation of copyright law. Congress eventually passed a law that declared ClearPlay’s technology ‘legal’ – thus dropping the company from the lawsuit filed by the Directors Guild of America.





By securing important media coverage during a time when it was most-needed for the company, INK was able to help maintain ClearPlay’s reputation. ClearPlay ultimately won the lawsuit against them, the trial ending in legislation being reformed to protect the rights of viewers to select what they want to watch.