Contracts and the Internet

Essay by golf_officerUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 2006

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Issues Regarding Contracts

This summary includes critical information concerning issues regarding contracts, for the informational purpose relating to that of an idea presented to the City Council, by the Mayor of Bigtown, to create an advertising campaign staging a false auction on eBay of the City of Bigtown, in hopes to boost tourism rates. Background information involving similar circumstances would be that of Leonard vs. PepsiCo (1999). In short, PepsiCo thought no one would take them seriously when they offered to give away a Harrier Jet, worth approximately $23 million dollars, in their televised advertising campaign for purchasing Pepsi products. They were wrong, in consideration of a man by the name of John D.R. Leonard who took the joke to heart, and went about collecting and then attempting to purchase the required points for the jet. When PepsiCo did not honor his request to provide the Harrier Jet, he took them to court.

Mr. Leonard lost his case, based off of the fact that first and foremost, an advertisement is not a contract; it is merely an offer to purchase products. Secondly, per the Objective Reasonable Person Standard, stated by Kimba M. Wood, District Judge for the United States District Court, Southern District of New York (1999), "In evaluating the commercial, the Court must not consider defendant's subjective intent in making the commercial, or plaintiff's subjective view of what the commercial offered, but what an objective, reasonable person would have understood the commercial to convey." Meaning, that if in general, a reasonable person would view the commercial as a joke, then there is no implied contractual obligation.

To address the first reason in greater detail, it is important to know what a valid contract consists of, and it must be stated that wording of contracts will change depending on...