Re: Scout in Ad, And WalMart Address
RYAN KEIL (RYAN.KEIL@M.CC.UTAH.EDU)
Fri, 2 Sep 1994 11:38:32 -0600
Before I say anything else, let me say that I have NOT seen the ad
[ What's a TV? Nevermind, no time for that. ;-) ], nor is this an
endorsement of the concept in this specific case.
The use of an icon in advertising is not uncommon. In some cases, that
icon may even represent the competitor of the entity protrayed in the
ad. Such icons are usually protected by law. Nevertheless, it is
extremely rare that the entity whose icon is used [ victim ] pursues
legal recourse. The reason for this is that the net effect from an
advertisement is that the icon is promoted. Although it is in a negative
connotation in most cases, the viewing public rarely remembers the
perspective in which that icon was used, but simply remembers the icon.
This has a net effect of positive reinforcement of the offended entity in
the viewers' mind. Domino's Pizza did not sue Pizza Hut over any of the
numerous ad campaigns that compared the two because Pizza Hut was putting
Domino's in people's minds. Domino benefitted from this.
Again, I'm not saying that Scouting--in the US or Canada--should simply
take no action; however, National may have the view that such advertising
is free promotion of the icon of Scouting. They certainly won't initiate
litigation if doing so would be perceived as hostile and/or counter to
public's perception of Scouting.
That said and done....
I called WalMart. Their number is 501-273-4000. I spoke with their
Marketing Department and voiced my concern, asking where I could write.
I was told to address my correspondence to:
Paul Higham, Vice President for Marketing
WalMart Stores, Inc.
702 Southwest Eighth Street
Bentonville, Arkansas 72716
Ryan Keil, BEAR-ly Scoutin'
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City