Aliens vs. Halloween

October 17, 2009 at 5:44 pm (News) (, , , , , , , , , )

Illegal Alien Costume

Halloween. It’s a time for fun, candy, costumes, and an excuse to party (as if we needed one). For kids, costumes usually concentrate around their heroes from tv, books, movies, and music. As adults we tend to add in some sexiness or humor, especially humor with its roots in politics and pop culture. This week Target and BuySeasons, Inc were asked by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles to pull one of their costumes off the shelf because of its political humor.

The costume in question consists of an alien head, green card, and prison style jump suit with “illegal alien” emblazoned across the chest. The Coalition calls this “distasteful, mean-spirited, and ignorant of social stigmas and current debate on immigration reform.” A report by Minneapolis based Star Tribune cites other immigrant groups up in arms over the issue.

What I don’t understand is why one group would feel that this costume is directly targeting them. The costume has an alien mask, though the mask is not green it does not  depict a specific race. There is nothing on the costume or props that suggest a specific ethnicity is being harassed by it. It is not saying “all aliens” or “legal aliens” – just illegal aliens. “Illegal Alien” is a blanket term. In fact according to the 2007 statistics, between 2005 and 2006 the number of illegal aliens from Mexico diminished from 7M to 6.5M while the number from India rose 125%.  Between 2005 and 2006 China, India, and the Philippines were all ranked in the top six countries for illegal immigrants, not to mention the nearly 75,000 undocumented Canadians.

So what do you think? Is this costume directly offensive to a certain culture, or merely a satirical embodiment of a political issue? In a pole on the AOL website out of 186,945 people this offends 9% of them while an overwhelming 91% of voters find this costume inoffensive – 91%! That’s nearly a third higher than Obama’s approval rating in January 2009.

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Target Infringes on Coach’s Fringes

October 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm (Branding, Design, Florida, News, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

coach-target

Want to buy a Coach purse but don’t want to spend the cash to get a Coach purse, just head down to your local Target store. Wait a minute, something doesn’t sound right. As one person put it on The Purse Forum: “Why would Coach put out a $10,000.00 bag, but then turn around and put their bags in Target?” It sounds like Coach was asking itself the same question, but failed to give itself an answer, thus an inquiry arose.

According to CNNMoney.com Coach is suing Target Corp. for $1 million dollars claiming that it sold knockoff purses that were eerily similar in design and pattern to Coach’s trademarked intellectual property. Stylist.com reports that Target Corp. is not the only one in Coaches sights for trademark legal action. “– Brown Shoe Co. Inc, parent company of Naturalizer, was also accused of copying the “Ergo” pleated satchel […] in June of this year…”

This marks at least the second time that Coach has sued Target Corp. for selling counterfeit versions of its purses. In 2006 the two companies went head-to-head until the suit was dropped citing that the purses were authentic and Target Corp. had purchased them “at a major department store liquidation sale.” The lawsuit was eventually dropped.

So is this just another misunderstanding of licensing laws, or a veiled attempt to cash in on another brands image? I’m sure the courts will decide, we can be certain of one thing – as Sylist.com said “in this industry, imitation is clearly not the highest form of flattery.”

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