Media Stranger Things Netflix

Netflix issues unusual ultimatum to unlicensed Stranger Things pop-up bar in Chicago


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

September 19, 2017 | 3 min read

Video streaming company Netflix likes to do stranger things than its rivals so it comes as no surprise that even its cease and desist letters are still relatively cool.

Stranger Things

Stranger Things

Nothing sullies well-earned brand equity more than a threatening legal letter to a small business (see BrewDog’s defence of the word ‘Punk’) – and Netflix seems to be well aware of this.

Reacting to an unlicensed Chicago pop-up bar based on the show Stranger Things called the Upside Down, the company issued a cease and desist, urging bar owner Emporium Popups to continue with its plans to shut the project down 1 October.

While still an ultimatum it appears there are no repercussions for the the unlicensed operation - further to that, it proves to Netflix that physical experiences around its IPs can prove popular.

The letter reads: "Look, I don’t want you to think I’m a total wastoid, and I love how much you guys love the show. (Just wait until you see Season 2) But unless I’m living in the Upside Down, I don’t think we did a deal with you for this pop-up ... You’re obviously creative types, so I’m sure you can appreciate that it’s important to us to have a say in how our fans encounter the worlds we build."

It continues: "We’re not going to go full Dr Brenner on you, but we ask that you please (1) not extend the pop-up beyond its six week run ending in September, and (2) reach out to us for permission if you plan to do something like this again."

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