Frucor, with the help of its long-time agency Colenso BBDO, maintained its consistency in 2011, with V continuing its run as one of the country’s most innovative brands and Mountain Dew Skate Pinball taking experiential marketing to a whole new level of massiveness. Marketing director Scott Wright spills the beans.
There was a bit of a storm in a beer mug back in July when DB was given the rights to use the generic term Radler as a brand name. Corporate bullying, some indie brewers cried. Cutting off your nose to spite your face and making consumers dislike you for no good reason, others shrieked. Mwahahahah, DB laughed. So when The Boundary Road Brewery launched its Lawn Ranger brew recently it claimed it was ‘Radler-style’ and put up a cheeky billboard saying ‘Fine, we won’t call it Radler then’. Now DB has set its lawyers Simpson Grierson on the case, saying the term ‘radler style’ is off limits and telling BRB to lay off the allusions.
Following on from the recent spate of trademark bullying, with DB winning the rights to use the generic term “radler” and Fonterra now trying to claim “vintage”, Moa, which announced its slightly surprising sponsorship of the New Zealand Olympic team last week, recently received a letter from Jean-Luc Barnier, the chief guardian of the Champagne region, telling the brand to cease and desist on the use of the word champagne on its website. As you can imagine, this request went down well with the always well-behaved Moa team, who felt the letter was a particularly French way of going about things. So they sent Jean-Luc a uniquely Kiwi response: a lovely postcard of the Rainbow Warrior with the Te Reo equivalent of “fuck off” written on the back.
A quick glance at Fonterra’s media site shows the dairy giant has quite a penchant for talking itself up. Last week it announced it was dropping the price of butter and cheese in line with international price decreases, but its decision to not drop the price of milk as part of a price freeze hasn’t won it any friends. Neither has news this week that it has gone after boutique cheese-makers, asking them to cease using the term “vintage” on their products, because it says it trademarked the term back in the 60s. Can you smell that? Like DB’s Radler, it’s the stench of a corporate attempting to wield its power. But will Fonterra’s case stand up in court?
So, DB has trademarked the beer name “Radler” for its Monteith’s brand, to the despair of independent brewers who say “Radler” is a style of beer, not a brand, and shouldn’t be owned by a beverage behemoth. It’s a battle begging comparison to David and Goliath, but then it seems so many trademark cases are. Here’s our pick of the persnickety trademark bunch ©.