Universal Pictures Sued for Sending "Spam" 'Warcraft' Texts to Moviegoers

Hollywood's make or break Moments: 6 - Warcraft movie - H 2015
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is facing a proposed class action for spamming people with Warcraft promotional text messages, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Florida federal court. 

"Hello from the Warcraft Movie team. You are one of the chosen few invited to join the fight today. Will you lead the Horde or Alliance to Victory?" states one promotional text which links to the film's page on ticket site Fandango.com.

Charlie Fitzgerald III is suing Universal for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, claiming the studio sent him the message without permission.

Fitzgerald says neither provided his cellphone number to Universal nor gave the studio consent to call or text him. He claims the number used to send the text is owned by Twilio, a company that allows users to mass market via text messages.

"Given the pervasive and prevalent usage of mass, mobile marketing that violates TCPA protections, as Defendant has done here, Twilio provides clients with warnings to not use their service to violate the TCPA," states the complaint. "But, by sending unsolicited text messages without express consent and not pursuant to an ongoing emergency, Defendant did in fact use Twilio's mass, mobile marketing capabilities to violate the TCPA."

The proposed class is defined as: "All persons within the United States who received one or more text messages from Defendant or Defendant' agent(s) pursuant to a scheme substantially similar or identical to the text messaging scheme described in this Complaint, without prior express consent and not pursuant to emergency purposes, between June 24, 2012, and the certification of this class."

Fitzgerald is seeking $500 in statutory damages per violation for himself and each class member. If the violation is found to be willful, not negligent, his damages demand increases to $1,500 per violation. 

Universal Pictures has not yet responded to the lawsuit.