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Black & Decker Sues Over Product Pla in “Die Hard 2″

November 30, 1990 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Black & Decker Inc. hasn’t taken lightly to what it considers the unkindest cut of all - the elimination of a scene featuring one of its products from a movie thriller.

The toolmaker has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore accusing 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and the marketing firm Krown-Young & Rubicam of failing to fulfill a promise that a Black & Decker drill would appear in ″Die Hard 2.″

According to court papers filed Nov. 7, star Bruce Willis was to remove an air-duct grill in an airport tunnel with a Black & Decker cordless drill.

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Black & Decker commissioned an advertising and sales promotion campaign for the drill built around the movie to capitalize on the ″Father’s Day gift- buying season,″ it said it its suit.

But the scene was cut from the film.

The company, based in Towson, is seeking at least $150,000 in damages, plus interest and court costs. It charges Fox, the film’s distributor, and Krown- Young & Rubicam with negligence and breach of contract.

The suit claims that Krown-Young & Rubicam obtained a commitment from Fox that the product would appear in ″Die Hard 2.″ The suit said that the company did not pay Fox a promotional fee to showcase the drill in the movie.

But after assurances the tool would ″achieve strong positioning,″ Black & Decker agreed to become ″promotional partners″ with the two firms.

Fox spokesman Dennis Petroskey in Los Angeles declined to comment. ″We don’t comment on matters of litigation,″ he said.

Attempts to reach Krown-Young & Rubicam after business hours Thursday were unsuccessful.