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Agency Warns Against Use Of "Think Pink"
Vol. 859 
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.

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