It is entirely appropriate that the ad business is rife with metaphors of war, and chess.
The Audi billboard on the left appeared along Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles not so long ago. Soon after, the BMW folks retaliated, in a move recorded by its agency, Juggernaut Advertising, for whom this video is an ad in itself- boasting of Juggernaut's authorship of this 'nana-nana-boo-boo' moment:
BMW billboard from Juggernaut Advertising on Vimeo.
The Audio folks forgot that chess is about thinking a few moves head. And they payed for it- literally. For the duration of their poster's run, they had to pay to play the foil to their arch rival.
When the 'billboard war' ballyhoo'd and reported in some corners of the press never erupted, this incident was demoted to the status of 'one-off.'
Advertising wars can in themselves draw all kinds of attention, and help grow the product category. But they're also expensive, and bruising, and oh-so-hard to stop.
Hence the metaphor.