Pork, Porn and Shirtless Moms

How on earth does an organization promoting something as lascivious-sounding as "pork" (as in porking, getting porked, etc) decide that it would be a good idea to tell a woman to remove her shirt immediately because the promotion of breastfeeding using "the other white milk" was so naughty sounding it might make them look bad?

See, a colleague of mine, Jennifer Laycock, started a website (The Lactivist) a while ago for two reasons: 1) to promote a cause she believes in, breastfeeding, and 2) to demonstrate to new SEO's how to promote a website from start to finish.

Through the use of savvy marketing and very clever marketing and slogans, she did quite well.

Then along came the National Pork Board with a C&D that claimed she was violating their trademark with one of her (very funny) t-shirt slogans: "The Other White Milk".

Ok, I might be able to write this off as institutional auto-pilot (sue everyone and sort it out later), but as part of the C&D the claimed the following:


"In addition, your use of this slogan also tarnishes the good reputation of the
National Pork Board's mark in light of your apparent attempt to promote the use
of breastmilk beyond merely for infant consumption..."

So, apparently, if a breastfeeding site makes any reference to breasts, it's pornographic and likely to "tarnish the good reputation of the National Pork Board's mark".

I guess it's only OK to feed your kid breast milk if your breasts are not involved in the process.

I have a better idea. Maybe it would be better to only feed your kid if pork is not involved. Myself, I'm banning pork from the house for as long as this goes on.

On a related note, let's take a look at pork's reputation, shall we? You can't claim your reputation has been harmed unless your reputation is good enough to be harmed in the first place.

I was recently involved in a case where someone sued a blogger regarding comments, claiming that the comments hurt their reputation. The problem is, they had such a bad reputation to start with it would not have been likely the comments would have had any effect at all!

Let's start with an early example - God prohibiting pork because it's unclean in the Bible. I'm not religious, but I would tend to think that kind of thing is more likely to harm pork's reputation more than a breastfeeding kid, but that's just me.

Maybe they should sue God! Or serve a C&D on current Bible publishers to remove that part. If it works, I'm sure other people have other parts they would like to remove too, because it makes them look bad.

Oh, wait, we are only talking about the trademark "The Other White Meat". I can imagine that they are sensitive about this, since they just bought the rights to it for $60 million and probably want to protect it.

Fine, so they want to protect their investment. The value of the investment is based on it's reputation.

Therefore, they are attacking a breastfeeding site. Ummm....

Thing is, because of this incredibly ham-handed (pun intended) attempt at protecting their reputation by besmirching the reputation of others, they have almost certainly irreparably damaged it. Certainly with me and many others.

Pick a fight between moms trying to promote healthy kids VS a polluting, chemical laced product that constitutes the main ingredient of spam and, well, you get what you deserve, frankly.

Ian

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

"Lets start with an early example - God prohibiting pork because it's unclean in the Bible. "

Ian, I just about fell out of my chair. That's hysterical.

Thanks for the great write up!

CyberchaseKid said...

Great point, lol! They probably would sue God and Jewish and Muslim folks too if they could get away with it. ;)

Now don't pigs, being mammals, breastfeed? Anyone see the irony?