Third party cola - The Onion speaks
Here's another delicious brand-related topic from the IPKat's beloved The Onion. It begins:
"Claiming the American consumer is in crisis, third-party soft drink Royal Crown Cola called for an end to two-brand dominance, demanding an equal playing field for all and urging sweeping restrictions on the amount Coke and Pepsi are allowed to spend on advertisements.The IPKat notes how much profound truth lurks behind the satirical façade. Brand duopolies are so hard to crack open (witness Nike/Adidas, Sony/Nintendo) even if you've got the money to take them on. Merpel says, don't be so soft - it's consumers that make brands popular by buying them ...
"Over the past several decades we've seen smaller, independent brands pushed to the sidelines", RC Cola President John Sunderland said Monday. "We cannot compete with the massive amounts the big sodas spend on their ad campaigns — campaigns that obscure the truth and drown out alternative voices in American cola. Rather than an honest, open dialogue, we are instead subjected to a horse race between two giants that ignores the key issues of improved taste and refreshingness".
According to RC Cola's research, Coke spent $1.3 billion on international print, billboard, and TV ads in 2005 alone; Pepsi spent $1.1 billion on a multimedia ad-campaign blitz, including sponsorships and product placement; and RC Cola spent $29,000 on local shopping-circular ads in a total of 32 U.S. states.
"It's all too easy to marginalize lesser-funded labels, especially when Coke and Pepsi can rely on huge war chests funded by the financial backing of corporations like PepsiCo and the Coca-Cola Company", Sunderland said during a sparsely attended press conference. "In many cases, these corporations have a vested interest in these colas, and are able to saturate the media with their status-quo beverage message. That is just not fair".
The November issue of Euromoney's Managing Intellectual Property magazine has now reached the IPKat's desk. As usual, it's packed with exciting stuff. Within its 104 pages you can read editor James Nurton's review of criminal enforcement provisions in six jurisdictions, Emma Barraclough's challenging feature on whether IP owners can do better in an internet environment if they give their IP away rather than try to enforce it, plus a survey from the Antipodes which includes an interview with Ian Heath, the imaginative director general of IP Australia.
Full contents of this issue here