Friday, February 2, 2007

The Other White Milk....

*Update: The Pork Bork apologizes to the Lactivist! She has agreed to stop selling the shirts and they are donating money to the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio.

Breastfeeding moms (and mums) are rising up against the National Pork Board for threatening to sue Jennifer at The Lactivist. Jennifer has pro-breastfeeding shirts in a Cafe Press store for sale to benefit the Non-Profit Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio, one of them uses the slogan,"The Other White Milk". Reasons: trademark infringement and tarnishing the NPB's rep.

I am out in the desert with limited internet, so I just found out about this and ironically, I had pork chops for dinner. Now, I do enjoy pork bacon, panchetta, pepperoni, pork chops and many other delicious pork products. I especially enjoy them over here because they are hard to get in a country that is 95% Muslim. However, "The Other White Milk" refers to breastmilk as an alternative to cow's milk. It is true that one may think of the NBP's slogan,"The Other White Meat" when one see it, because it was out there first, but I don't think the NBP should win on trademark infringement. I don't know the specifics of the law, but common sense tells us that "The Other White Milk" is a statement of fact about breastmilk. Slogans that are statements of fact should have higher tests for trademark infringement. Even if you admit it is a play on the slogan, it is a non-competative play on the slogan. A mother doesn't decide between breastmilk and pork, she decides between breastmilk and formula.

The most ridiculous part of the letter accused Jennifer of tarnishing the NPB's image:

"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, such as with the following slogans on your website in close proximity to the slogan "The Other White Milk." "Dairy Diva," "Nursing, Nature's Own Breast Enhancement," "Eat at Mom's, fast-fresh-from the breast," and "My Milk is the Breast."

The Lactivist website promotes breastfeeding acceptance and supports breastfeeding moms. The shirts do not promote adult breastfeeding. There are a few that acknowledge a breastfeeding mother's womanhood and sexuality, but the point is to play on the dominant American cultural view of breasts as sexual objects and points of vanity when the primary biological purpose is to provide nourishment. There is one shirt that reads,"I Play with My Baby's Food" for fathers to show their support. That one is the closest that I've seen of her shirts, but even that one isn't encouraging fathers to breastfeed, it is encouraging fathers to be supportive of breastfeeding. I don't particularly care for that shirt, but do you even remember I started this post about pork?

So write the National Pork Board and tell them to support breastfeeding and back off The Lactivist.

Jeff Hartz - Director of Marketing Communications
(515) 223-2629

Joy Johnson - Vice President Marketing
(515) 223-2631

Michael Wegner - Vice President Communications
(515) 223-2638

Teresa Roof - Public Relation Manager
(515) 223-2616


FoundClothing said...
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FoundClothing said...

Earlier I'd posted that I didn't remember anything from TM law, which is true, and therefore sad ... but not surprising. So I looked up TM dilution info and yes, the Pork Board has a claim. TM's not all about similar products; it's also about making sure that strong TMs retain their strength.

That said, she might also get into trouble for those nip/suck shirts.

Also, this is just another reason to go vegetarian. Though you could expect the Florida Orange growers and the banana people to react likewise in a similar situation ...