A couple months ago, I posted about the contentious trademark battle involving Stone Brewing Co., a craft brewery based in California, who filed a trademark infringement complaint against giant beer conglomerate MillerCoors LLC and Molson Coors Brewing Co. (“MillerCoors”). The complaint is based on the recent rebranding of the MillerCoors “Keystone” beer, which separates and
This past week I’ve been pondering a question of great importance: When might a straitjacket double as a life vest? The answer actually arrived last Monday during INTA’s “The Ethics of Trademark Bullying” panel discussion at the 135th Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas.
In so many words, our good friend and wise guy…
With the brand new outdoor Target Field located in downtown Minneapolis, the buzz is palpable, and there is certainly more foot and other forms of traffic, especially on the end of town closest to where the Minnesota Twins now play their home games. Given that increased traffic I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that some businesses…
–Susan Perera, Attorney
As promised, here are the ambush ads in direct competition with the FIFA sponsors shown yesterday.
Are these companies deceptively benefiting from these ads? Please share your thoughts.
–Susan Perera, Attorney
The World Cup has come to a close. Have you fallen into football withdrawal? Well don’t despair, I thought we could enjoy it a bit longer with a discussion of ambush marketing and some of the advertising campaigns that came out of this year’s championship.
Clearly, major sporting events are financed largely by sponsorships, which in turn, give sponsoring companies the opportunity to get some major face-time with fans. Sponsorship grants category exclusivity to one brand, allowing them to hold-off their competitors from associating with that event.
So if you have a major advertising budget, the question becomes do you sponsor, or do you ambush?
Whenever there is a major sporting event like the World Cup ambush ads begin to appear, bringing to mind the current sporting event without actually mentioning the event itself (or showing any protectable marks or images related to that event). Most consumers are unaware they have been ambushed and the advertiser reaps the benefit of appearing to be a sponsor. Recent trends have moved towards higher protection of these major events; however, there is currently no legal recourse for a well-articulated ambush marketing campaign.
Nike, for example, has often chosen against sponsoring large sporting events, instead blazing the trail on how to execute an effective ambush marketing campaign. Nike has gotten away with its clever ads for years, but as discussed in my earlier post that isn’t the case for everyone who tries this method.
So, is this underhanded? Maybe. Is it creative? I’d have to say, yes.
Do you think the high price tag for sponsorships at the World Cup or Olympics justify greater legal protection? Does your answer depend on who’s sponsoring and who’s ambushing. What if it is two major companies like Coca-Cola (a FIFA Partner) and Pepsi (unaffiliated)?
Now, what about when FIFA Sponsor Budweiser is ambushed by 36 women in orange dresses promoting the Dutch beer Bavaria? Should small-budget companies be held-off from any and all advertising? What are your thoughts?
After the jump, take a look at the advertising campaigns of some of FIFA’s sponsors and come back tomorrow to see their ambushers’ advertisements.
With less than 6 months to go until the 21st Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, trade mark enforcement activities are beginning to heat up.
In January, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched its global campaign against the Canadian seal hunt with a version of the Vancouver 2010 Inukshuk logo clubbing a seal…