It's the best ad that's been done for your company in years, and you didn't design it. Thousands of people are circulating images emblazoned with your brand and you didn't even pay for product placement. It's sexy and a bit risque, but your primary competitor just hired a well-known porn star to push their wares, and you look prudish and stuffy in comparison. So you pop open the champagne, pat yourself on the back for work not done, and lazily watch your sales numbers climb.
Note to Puma's marketing department: these people passing around your images? The web-savvy pop culture addicts? They're your target market. The people telling you that the ads are offensive? (The Christian Coalition? I'm just guessing here.) Those people wouldn't have bought your sneakers anyway. You'd be very hard pressed to make the argument that the ad is affecting your sales in a negative manner, which I would think would be necessary for a defamation suit.
But we don't really think you're that naive. Somewhere in the deep recesses of Puma marketing, someone is snickering into their computer monitor and toasting Photoshop. And by god, we're going to find him! Or her. Or them.
The ad itself, however, is beside the point. The ad is fake, and we've stated as much, but if someone wants to insinuate that Puma sneakers remind them of blow jobs, isn't that freedom of expression?