Advertising: Kissing Pope is unacceptable for the Vatican

Benetton has caused quite some commotion once again with her new campaign UNHATE. The campaign is based on polar opposites in the world, who greet each other intimately. Benetton hopes to contribute to greater tolerance between people and an end hatred between nations, ideologies and religions. The campaign features, six manipulated and edited photos of world leaders kissing each other. Including the Pope with the Islamic spiritual leader Mohammed Ahmed el-Tayeb, Barack Obama with his Venezuelan colleague Hugo Chavez and Benjamin Netanyahu with Mahoud Abbas .

The Vatican was 'not amused' and at the behest of the Vatican the image of the kissing Pope kissing is withdrawn from the campaign.

Famous people generate a lot of attention, but may their image be used whenever one pleases? The answer is no. Often (think athletes and artists) there is a financial interest, but it could also be that the person does not want to be associated with the product or that the expression suggests that the known person supports the ad or contributed to it. In particular, with manipulated images there is a danger. Use of famous people still fun and exciting, but not without risks.


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IP quiz Trademarks

Puma is one of the bigger sports and lifestyle brands in the world. The core-business is the design, development and sale of (sports) shoes, (sports) clothing and accessories. In 1960, Puma registered an international trademark for a device designed in 1958: the formstrip. Since then, Puma has registered approximately 90 formstrip trademarks with validity in the Benelux or the European Union. Puma claims that this is a serial mark. Monshoe is a wholesaler of women's shoes and related products. The company designs and develops Monshoe shoes which it largely markets itself. Monshoe sells its women's shoes under the brands Shoecolate and Pearlz. The shoe Shoecolate is offered in various colour combinations. Puma claims that Monshoe infringes its well-known formstrip trademark. Monshoe contradicts this and states that the average consumer will not perceive the device of Monshoe on the sneakers as a trademark. And if the public will recognize a trademark in the decoration, it will not make the connection to Puma. According to Monshoe, the formstrip logo is not a well-known trademark within the meaning of the BVIE and the UMVo. There is no likelihood of confusion because the sign does not or hardly evoke any association with Puma among the public. In light of the above, who is right? Does this constitute decorative use or linking to a well-known trademark?