Big Bully Pork Group Stomps on BreastFeeding Moms

by Jeremy Schoemaker on February 1, 2007 · 32 comments

My friend Jennifer Laycock, owner of thelactivist, needs some help. She is being bullied by a Nazi group trying to say she is infringing on there trademarks.

Now this issue really hits home with me because I am a huge proponent of breast feeding and breast feeding rights for women.

You can read all the details on here blog here

I also urge you to let these people know your opinion

You can email the Pork Board directly. Or, you can contact the relevant folks in the marketing and PR departments.

Jeff Hartz – Director of Marketing Communications
(515) 223-2629 JHartz@pork.org

Joy Johnson – Vice President Marketing
(515) 223-2631 jjohnson@pork.org

Michael Wegner – Vice President Communications
(515) 223-2638 MWegner@pork.org

Teresa Roof – Public Relation Manager
(515) 223-2616 troof@pork.org

So far the following other people have posted. I suggest you do also ;)

Bill Hartzer – National Pork Board Tries to Stomp on Innocent Blogger
B5.media – Did the National Pork Board Forget that Piglets Breastfeed Too?
Netscape
The Small Business Ideas forum.
Marketing Pilgrim
Traffick
Search Engine Land
Search Engine Guide
The Feeding Choices Board at BabyCenter
Cameron Olthuis – Save a Pig, Boycott Pork
Six Degrees of Bacon
Home With Kids
97 floor
apogee-web-consulting
Search Rank Blog

cre8pc
Yellow House Hosting
The Thinking Southerner
net savvy

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2856 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.


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{ 21 comments }

1 Robert Clough

Thank you for shining the light on this! Maybe the little pork roaches will scurry off now.

2 Purplepeeps

I shoe, please make sure Jennifer gets this. This same BS happened to me when I owned my old business. The company that ran us down was Big Dogs apparel (don’t shop there) anyhow. She may be under the same protection that this guy used to fight Hasboro. thisistrue.com/hasbro.html (read under his parody link) — BTW this is a genius online/offline viral marketing piece.

Trademark lawyers for big firms do not understand the Internet and never will because they are in it for the money and have to show their clients that they are being useful.

F Them!

Good Luck Jennifer!

3 Grayson De Ritis

Another completely ridiculous lawsuit, without merit nor honor. I’m e-mailing these fools right now and giving them a piece of my mind. Thank for bringing this to my/our attention, Jeremy.

4 Jennifer Laycock

Thanks for the help guys! I cannot stand it when big guys try to tromp little guys. Anyone that reads Search Engine Guide knows that my passion is for the small business owner. We HAVE to show them that they can’t just push people around anymore. We will not stand for it.

To note, let me know if you blog/post on it as well, I’ll be compiling a list on the Lactivist Blog of everyone that’s helping spread the word.

5 97th Floor
6 John Willis

Emailed them, emailed my friends and wrote about it. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

7 Kim (cre8pc)

I also posted on this at SearchEngineRoundtable, and linked to a discussion on it at Cre8asiteforums. Danny Sullivan posted a contact form to the Pork industry site. Where I did not hold back :)

8 Laura

I know we have shared a love for the breastaurant, Jeremy… This is CRAP.

The positive side of all this is exposure is that it’s good for the breastfeeding cause. :)

I just posted about it in our Off Topic section with a plea for help if anyone has any connections. I don’t think they understand the collective power of the Internet…

Laura

9 Brian Thibault

Just take the shirt off, that simple. The fact is she is selling a shirt with a similar saying (clearly devised from “the other white meat”) that the pork company put millions into promoting, and she may in fact be damaging the NBP’s brand by diluting the power of this trademark, but that’s for the courts to decide.

I’m sure if they sold a shirt with a takeoff of one of her slogans, she would certainly sue.

If anyone is interested, here is the rule for trademark dilution by a similar mark from Moseley v. V Secret Catalogue, Inc., 537 U.S. 418 (2003): a plaintiff must show 1. that consumers would associate diluting mark with the plaintiff. 2. the diluting mark had lessened the capacity of the plaintiff ‘s mark to distinguish and identify its goods or services.”

Please remember nothing is black and white in the law, everything is gray area. This isn’t a company trying to stop the babies from being fed, they simply don’t want you to remember what brand/ company “the other white meat” is associated with. This is hard to do when their are takeoffs of it everywhere.

10 Brian Thibault

* DO want you to remember what brand “the other white meat is associated with”

11 Yuri

You know, it is sort of like Google stopping the the verb ‘to google’ to acquire the meaning of ‘to search with a search engine’ as in any search engine, not Google. Truth be told, though, when you think of a search engine, which one comes to mind?

12 Gary R. Hess

Hey Shoe, thanks for posting about this. This woman needs as much help as she can get to fight against these guys.

I posted about it at http://chickencamels.poemofquotes.com/uncategorized/lactating-pigs

13 Brian Thibault

right but look at Xerox, the phrase “to Xerox” is now synonymous with “to copy” with no brand association. The power of their brand name has effectively been diluted by the over use of the phrase.

14 Leonard

As far as I’m concerned, she’s got my vote.

15 Geiger
16 Golfer

When will organizations like this learn that you can get more done with being nice than being a bully. Hope the larger media picks up on this, then lets see what happens.

17 Mat Siltala

As a father of 3 who my wife struggled to breast feed (and going through it with out 5 month old) this pisses me off and I added my post here shoe: http://www.eplanit.biz/blog/?p=250 You rock for taking these a-holes on!

18 Joseph Bugle

I’m sure I will be flamed into next week – but here goes.

First, let me say I support breast feeding. I believe my child is healthier because of it, and I hate the pressure we feel when the baby needs to eat and we are anywhere but home.

That said, just because someone makes a profit with a focus on a good cause does not give them a right to infringe trademarks or co-op someone else’s ad budget as their own. (10% of the proceeds going to a milk bank along with an occasional fundraiser DOES still make this “for profit” – in fact, I’d be willing to bet the site does more profit with being able to say it supports the milk bank than it would otherwise)

If the pork producers had not spent millions of dollars promoting the “other white meat” campaign, then the lactivist would most certainly not be using the saying “the other white milk”. Inherently, without the widespread nature of the pork campaign, a t-shirt with “the other white milk” printed on the front would be stupid and meaningless and therefore zero shirts would sell and yield zero profit.

Here is the thing. Trademark enforcement is a tough business and the reality is, our American court systems do not allow companies to be picky and choosy where they decide to protect their intellectual property. If the pork guys allow this infringement to go unnoticed, what happens when the next infringer comes along and sells a million t-shirts…their case to stop that infringer would be weakened if they allowed the lactivist to continue.

It is completely obvious that the commercial benefit from these t-shirts is as a result of an infringement (see above – without the pork campaign I think a reasonable person would agree – no shirts sell)…so if you assume there is an infringement, why would the online marketing community support this?

I understand that the woman behind the lactivist is a fellow marketer…and I understand a lot of people may know her and like her, but does that make her actions right?

Would it be ok if I copied some of your websites???..just borrowed some copyrighted material…maybe modify it just a tick….don’t worry, I’ll only make a little money from it. Or how about if adware just takes a little of the traffic you earned and stole some commissions here and there…not a big adware program like WhenU..just a very small one….and what if they donate 10% of the profit to the United Way? will that be ok?

I know there will be people up in arms over my post…I know examples will be given as to how stealing material from your website or allowing spyware are different…and I fully acknowledge that. What I’m trying to do here is illustrate two simple points.

Point 1 – no matter how much we support breast feeding or the lactivist blog – the shirts do infringe because without the pork campaign they are worthless (they do not meet legal definition for acceptable parody under free speech either – but that is too much to get into here).

Point 2 – Once you acknowledge point 1, the only morally and ethically correct answer is to stop infringing. Infringing “just a little bit” is no more right that stealing “just a little bit”.

I am saddened that our community has rushed to support someone in doing something that is legally and ethically wrong. I think it devalues our common voice and when we need to stand up as an industry, things like this can make our voices less noticeable and lower our overall credibility.

Again, I know this ain’t the prevailing view…but I felt obligated to post and point out what I believe is a mistake.

I wish you all the best.

19 wildbluff_matt

I certainly support those mothers who want to breastfeed. However, I don’t agree with a statement I heard one mother saying along the lines that it was a natural body function and should be allowed openly in public. This was after all that mishap on the plane. I totally think they should be allowed to do it, but it’s gonna be done tastefully, not out in the full open. Taking a piss is a natural body function too, but I wouldn’t start going in the middle of the mall either. I know, those are pretty different, but not wildly different either.

20 derrik

im a fan of it too

21 Shelley-je

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