One of the world’s biggest corporates makes a donation to CND

Unilever Peace campaign for Lynx

Strange, but true…

Unilever will continue to use the peace logo in promotions for its new Lynx fragrance but is making an undisclosed donation to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) after the protest group slammed its “callous” use of the iconic symbol.

The FMCG company said the “universally recognised symbol of peace” is a key part of its bid to raise awareness of peace globally, which forms part of the marketing campaign for its new “Peace” sub brand.

The campaign, which has seen 70ft peace signs tagged on various landmarks across the capital, was slammed by CND as being a “disingenuous”. CND general secretary Kate Hudson told The Independent earlier this week that the promotions are “a flagrant co-opting of decades of activism”.

Unilever defended its use of the logo and highlighted its commitment to promoting global peace through its work with the charity Peace One Day.

CND protestIn a statement the company said: “In recognition of its historic link with the universal peace symbol, we are making a donation to CND’s charitable trust to help fund their non-campaigning peace education programme in schools.

The Lynx campaign, supported by global organisation Peace Once Day, aims to raise awareness of peace internationally.”

The symbol was created in 1958 to support the CND group. The activists have deliberately not copyrighted the sign and consequently brands do not need permission to use it. The organisation does, however, ask for donations whenever the logo is used commercially.

CND welcomed the donation, hailing the efforts of “thousands” of supporters who have made the concerns about the logo’s use “impossible for Unilever to ignore”. it claims “thousands” of people have posted on both Lynx and CND’s Twitter and Facebook pages over the past week.

Hudson adds: ”We’re delighted that Unilever has apologised for the way in which our name and symbol have been used: but to be honest it’s no surprise that Unilever has decided to donate.

“The past week has seen thousands of people taking to Twitter and Facebook to express their outrage and to urge Unilever to do the right thing. Our supporters really made it impossible for Unilever to ignore the complaints.

”It’s positive that a global corporation like Unilever is promoting peace, even if it is for profit. But we draw the line when a company directly uses our logo and history to sell its products.

marmite_confiscatedThe fact that Unilever has acknowledged its mistake is to be welcomed, but this victory really is testament to the people power of the thousands who have rallied around CND: they have called foul play on this misappropriation of our name and symbol.”

Unilever’s donation echoes a similar move last summer when it moved to quell anger around a controversial Marmite TV advert. Then, the company donated £18,000 to the RSPCA after some viewers said its latest advert for the spread trivialised the work of animal welfare agencies.


Source: Marketing Week (Tuesday 15 May 2014)

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