The BBC told us recently that Procter & Gamble has applied to trademark certain terms commonly used in text speak and on social media and the internet generally.
Terms like ‘LOL’ (Laugh Out Loud), and even ‘WTF’ (We all know that one, don’t we?) may well end up as brand names, given that Procter & Gamble registered these trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last April.
Is this yet another case of the corporates muscling in to influence our lives? Are we likely to be sued under copyright laws for daring to write ‘LOL’ after some remark in a text message to a loved one? What right do these huge conglomerates have to take text out of everyday parlance and make it their own property?
It’s all about marketing and profit, of course – after all, what else matters in today’s world when the planet’s in peril and nuclear holocaust lurks just downstream from climate change?
[But] P&G’s applications have not yet been approved and are still “TBD” (To Be Decided).
The change in brand strategy may have come from activist investor, Nelson Peltz, who joined the P&G board in March.
Last September, he told CNBC that younger consumers do not want “one size fits all” brands but products that “they have an emotional attachment to”.
Shit! Who the hell would want ‘an emotional attachment’ to a toilet cleanser or washing powder?
If this is truly the brainchild of one Nelson Peltz, then maybe we need to know a little more about him. Firstly, he’s a bloody old dude (Even older than me!) He’s a U.S. billionaire, of course, though he’s worth a mere $1.51 billion, according to Forbes, which makes him only the 432nd richest person in the U.S.. Poor soul, I hope he knows the location of his nearest charity shop and soup kitchen.
He’s been married three times, the final time to ex-model Claudia Heffner. They have three children, who may well have contributed to this latest bright idea to increase profits.
Peltz made his money from hedge funds -well, it’s the quickest method these days for stripping ordinary folk of their hard-earned cash and shoving it in one’s own pocket.
It helps to have a financial leg-up, of course, and Peltz may have had some assistance there from his future father-in-law. One of Peltz’s initial acquisitions was a stake in Triangle Industries, Inc.. While researching the Heffner family history I came across an obituary for Claudia’s father, William J Heffner, which stated he served on the board of Triangle Industries, Inc.. Mind, it could have been coincidence – yeh, right.
But Peltz is relatively small fry in the world of billionaires. According to Forbes there are 1,826 U.S. dollar billionaires worldwide, from 66 countries, with a combined net worth of $7.05 trillion.
It’s a pity that 1,825 of them are so totally immersed in their own greed for money and power they’ve no interest whatever in righting the wrongs their avarice has caused the planet and its inhabitants.
What? Who’s the 1,826th billionaire – the one with a conscience? The one who’ll save the world? Sorry, I was kidding. There isn’t one.
Well, you’ve gotta have something to ‘LOL’ about – while you still can.