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Showing posts from June, 2008

The Third of Two: Why Billionaires Sue Small Folks, Why They Have to and Why There is a Better Way

Recently a federal judge threw out a lawsuit where the health products company Johnson & Johnson sued the American Red Cross Committee for using the classic Red Cross logo (Red Cross Prevails in Lawsuit). For most people it is no surprise that the suit was thrown out, but for many it is a mystery why a billion dollar company would sue a charity anyway, since at the very least it does not look very good. But there is a reason for this strange behavior though in my opinion there was another option, and in this story there is an important lesson.

First of all, the Johnson and Johnson company is the legal owner of the Red Cross trademark since 1887, at least in the USA, but through an agreement between the two organizations Johnson & Johnson has the exclusive right to use the logo for commercial products while the Red Cross has the right to use it for humanitarian initiatives. This long standing agreement was challenged last year when the Red Cross started licensing the use of t…

Gordon Brown’s Cold Call Campaign: Clever, then Stupid, then Maybe Even More Clever

Last week UK media all covered the story that Prime Minister Gordon Brown personally calls a selection of people who have sent him letters or emails. You might think that this is a nice personal touch that would get a neutral to positive coverage, but in fact many publications focused on the funny side. The prime minister, they claim, might be well meaning in his attempt to be more human, but he stupidly calls voters at 6am, normal office hours perhaps for a head of government but not for taxpayers. There’s a fairly typical example in the Daily Express: “…but the famously early-rising Prime Minister’s cold-calling was said to have backfired completely when he rang a number at 6am”. (Read the whole article at http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/46268/Hello-it-s-the-Prime-Minister-calling-yes-it-is-6am- )

You don’t need to know much about communications to be aware that stories like this do not get into the media on their own. Someone must be pushing them and in this case it is …