Wednesday

WE HAVE NOW ENTERED THE TRADEMARK TWILIGHT ZONE: FROOT LOOPS BEING ATTACKED BY MAYANS

Blinded by the dilution doctrine. Tone deaf to the Internet. Kellogg Co. may have reserved for itself a special place in the trademark hall of shame. Toucan Sam has been hawking FROOT LOOPS children's cereal for over 30 years. Kind of cute. Harmless enough.

Unless you are a serious non profit institute. Unless you seek to preserve the culture of Northern Guatemala by preserving artifacts and seeking to save the rain forest. And you use a Toucan, along with other Mayan imagery, as your logo.  Then you will get Kellogg Co. asking you to stop using a Toucan bird, to symbolize Mayan culture. Why? Because  Kellogg has immersed its FROOT LOOPS cereal in Mayan culture. And they now own the right to present that culture.
I have included the two Toucans. Suffice it to say they are nothing alike. 

But that's not what qualifies this as a hall of shame candidate. It's the idea that by carefully and accurately seeking to portray and preserve Mayan culture the Institute is somehow diminishing the cartoon, sugar coated vision of that same culture that Kellogg created to sell cereal. As the lawyer for the Mayan Institute put it ( and here I paraphrase) " It's like the Washington Redskins football team complaining to an authorized American Indian foundation about  how Indians are being presented."
As I have said so many times before " WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?" But I never meant it more than today.


 



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