Evidently, the National Pork Board and its lawyers at Faegre & Benson don’t have a sense of humor. They sent a very serious 12-page cease and desist letter to ThinkGeek for its use of the trademarked slogan “The other white meat” on an parody ad promoting Canned Unicorn Meat.
Recently we got the best-ever cease and desist letter. We’re no stranger to the genre, so what could possibly make this one stand out from the rest?
First, it’s 12 pages long and very well-researched (except on one point); it even includes screengrabs of the offending item from our site. And we know they’re not messing around because they invested in the best and brightest legal minds.
But what makes this cease and desist so very, very special is that it’s for a fake product we launched for April Fool’s day.
It wasn’t the iCade, or the Dharma Initiative Clock, or even the Tribbles ‘n’ Bits Breakfast Cereal.
No, it was the Canned Unicorn Meat.
The very special but also very real letter is from the National Pork Board, who claims we’re infringing on the slogan “The Other White Meat,” a slogan they’re apparently thinking about phasing out anyways.
Be sure to head on over to ThinkGeek‘s site to see the screen grab of the offending parody ad and read the first page of the cease and desist letter. It’s hilarious. Although I’m not sure National Pork Board or Faegre &Benson are laughing right now because it’s turned into a pretty embarrassing PR blunder.
I realize Faegre & Benson were just following orders from its client, but, really, didn’t anyone at either organization notice at any point during this process that the advertisement was a joke? The word “unicorn” or the claim that the meat was an “Excellent source of sparkles!” didn’t tip off anyone? Seriously, if I were the legal secretary, I would have felt ridiculous typing the sentence, “We are writing to you in connection with your activities at the website www.thinkgeek.com, wherein you have been marketing a product called “Radiant Farms Canned Unicorn Meat” using the slogan “Uncorn – the other white meat.”
Hat tip: Instapundit