Agency Warns Against Use Of "Think Pink"
October 13, 2011
California-based Affinity Consultants, which holds licensing
agreements with numerous national fraternities and sororities, is cautioning
marketers that the popular term "Think Pink" is trademarked and its
unauthorized use could result in legal action. The term – often used during
Breast Cancer Awareness Month – is trademarked by sorority Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) and has been used commercially by the
organization since 1997.
"Commercial use of ‘Think Pink' in the same channel as
it is used by Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation (breast
cancer research and awareness) must be granted and approved through a license
agreement," wrote Eli Snider, director of operations for Affinity
Consultants, in a response to Counselor. "The royalty for use of the mark
would depend on the proposed use."
As part of its agreement with ZTA, Affinity is active in
protecting trademark rights and fair usage. Counselor has confirmed that at
least one ad specialty industry supplier was recently contacted by Affinity and
asked to stop using "Think Pink" in its communications and marketing
materials or pay a royalty fee.
Affinity is not alone in its vigilance. For example, the
Susan G. Komen Foundation, which annually raises
millions of dollars for breast cancer research, has threatened lawsuits against
much smaller charities that use the phrase "for the Cure" in their
names. The phrase has long been associated with the Komen
Foundation, which has applied or registered for 197 different trademarks. Komen is also often recognized for its use of pink ribbons
– which are still considered public domain.