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The maker of The Wild Geese Irish whiskey brand has launched a campaign against drinks maker Bacardi that claims the company’s new marketing campaign is infringing its trademark.
Avalon Group says Bacardi’s ‘Untameable’ marketing campaign is a “cut and paste job” of its ‘Untamed’ trademark.
The Untamed brand tells the story of the ‘wild geese’, the name apparently given to the Irish diaspora. Avalon said ‘Untamed’ has been trademarked around the world since 2009, including in the US, to protect whiskey and rum products.
In November 2013 Bacardi, famed for its white rum, launched a worldwide advertising campaign called ‘Bacardi Untameable’.
Bacardi says the campaign tells the story of the allegedly “untameable” Bacardi family facing adversity in exile.
In response, Avalon has created a website where it criticises the campaign and has also filed an opposition at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to Bacardi’s attempt to register ‘Untameable’ as a trademark.
“Bacardi seems to feel that by placing its brand name in front of your trademark, it can then take ownership of your identity,” the campaign website said.
“Through its actions, it is clear that the Bacardi family believes it can outspend and outlast The Wild Geese. It has picked on the wrong company.
“If Bacardi’s tactics are allowed to stand, all entrepreneurs are in danger of having their IP – their trademark, their brand, their identity – taken from them by big companies,” it added.
Andre Levy, chair of Avalon distributor Protégé International, said taking Bacardi to court would have cost time and money.
“We want to make a difference and highlight what is happening all the time and come up with a creative solution that will actually stop this,” Levy told The Spirits Business website.
“That’s what we’re trying to do with the campaign.”
Bacardi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This story was first published on WIPR
Bacardi, The Wild Geese, trademark, Untameable, Untamed.