Can a friend be trademarked?
I received a solicitation in the mail the other day. I bet you’ve also gotten this one or one like it. It comes with many colorful address labels. And a nickel!
What really made me laugh this time, though, was the salutation. They obviously knew my name, because it was all over the address labels. But probably to save money, they opted not to personalize.
So I became a “Friend of …. Association”.
But either some perverse dictate about brand standards – or maybe the legal department – had gotten involved. Because I wasn’t just a “Friend”. I was a registered trademarked friend!
Nothing says warm and fuzzy like a registered trademark.
I admit to being confused. Did this confer some special status on me? Or did they now feel they owned me in some way? Had I signed any legal papers to gain this particular distinction? Should I be worried?
Seriously, though, don’t do this. If you truly cannot personalize appeals with a name, don’t insert your organization and its trademark there.
Sometimes, the best choice is to do without a salutation at all.
Photo: 愚木混株 cdd20
John Lepp (@johnlepp) says
This just makes me kind of angry.
Mary Cahalane says
SO lazy. It screams: “just hand over money, will you?”.
No, check that. A scream would require more energy. More like “yawns”.
And again, it’s a good cause, so people who care will respond. And then the organization will just keep doing it.
Fundraise on Facebook says
Geez, funny and wrong at the same time. I woner if they thought that many people would actually wish to donate to a cause that sent out a generic request at best. Fundrasing tends to be a lot more involved than that. As you may have noticed in my comment information, I am in fundraising (Fundraise on Facebook) and this is just a sad attempt at a campaign, lol. However, I guess you were able to have some lables and make five cents, lol. Silly to try to seek asssitance in such a manner. Oh my Oh my!