So… She likes nutella. She encourages other people to try the stuff some of those people then buy the stuff. Then there is a website, then World nutella day - books recipes etc. and etc… lots of folks trying then buying and good publicity for 6 years. then theres this
(headline shamelessly nicked from boingboing.com)
The company is presumably concerned about losing control of their brand; if she becomes the unofficial face of Nutella and then does something stupid, they’re probably worried that it will taint their image.
That said, there must be better ways to deal with the problem of overzealous fans than a complete shutdown. I mean, it’s not like she was posting fan messages on every messageboard and ending every post with a prayer to Nutella…
Having an independent entity promote your brand sounds like a recipe for disaster. What if the World Nutella Day people went in a direction contrary to the company’s marketing philosophy? Better to keep control of the public image of your product than to trust outsiders.
(Maybe they can re-name their celebration “World Hazelnut Spread Day.”)
In the era of the internet, people are going to have to give up the idea that they can absolutely control their brand. There is just too much content. You go after the really damaging cases (a Nutella based porn site might be worth shutting down) and ask - politely - for a disclaimer on someone running a site like Nutelladay (Nutelladay is not affiliated with and opinions and recipes on this site have not been approved by). Plus there is the Streisand Effect to be wary of (and somehow, this seems to be tailor made for it, I’m looking forward to a Popehat piece).
Seems like the best thing they could have done here would have been to just buy the site owner out. Probably wouldn’t have cost much more - maybe even cheaper in the long run considering they could profit from it afterward.
They’ve done kleenexed themselves at that point - she could legally respond with "prove you’ve been interested in defending this before now’ and likely win - lack of action on Nutella’s part for 6 years would negate anything they could actionably do - except against people that don’t have the resources to fight back.
That’s incorrect where it comes to protecting trademarks - I’m sure an actual lawyer may come in and correct, but you must always vigorously defend your trademarks or risk losing certain controls on them - from the very moment they are registered.
IOW - if the web site owner wished to pursue it - all they would have to do is ask “how long have you had the trademark, show us the records of your defense of it”
IOW, them allowing this website to run - unchecked and unchallenged - for 6 years dilutes thier abiltiy to stop it ‘now’ based on trademark alone.
Almost entirely due to blogs like this lady’s. And Pinterest. And Tumblr. It’s the internet that has really brought Nutella to the forefront of popularity in the US lately. How utterly stupid to collectively slap those people in the face.
I agree with this. I had never even heard of Nutella before I got on Tumblr. The love for Nutella is ubiquitous on that site, and other types of social media. I think this will hurt them in the long run.
eta: Actually, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for a rival company to talk to the girl who got the cease and desist letter and attempt to sponsor her.