Adidas: bare breasts and sports bras

In a campaign ad for its sports bras Adidas states that not all breasts are the same. Adidas acknowledges this and launches a new line of sports bras with 43 different sizes. Visually, this is supported by displaying different women's breasts (on Twitter with 24 different breasts and on posters with 62 breasts and the pay-off: The reasons we didn't make just one new sports bra).

 

The campaign went viral and soon complaints to the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) followed. The use of breasts is unnecessary, it sexualizes the female body and the posters are harmful as they can be seen by children.

ASA partially agrees with this. The use of pictures of breasts has a purpose, it shows the diversity therein, but only in the text the connection with bras is made. Children can also see these ads. In the current form the ads are therefore inappropriate and may be offensive. The ASA ruling is therefore more pointed towards the chosen media type (untargeted e-mails / banners / twitter messages) rather than the campaign itself.

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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?