Whisky Maker Communicates in Fine Spirits
27th July 2012 · 2 Comments
Gentleman Jack stayed true to “his” image when a recently published book appeared on store shelves with a cover looking suspiciously like the Jack Daniels Old No. 7 label. The attorney who penned the cease and desist letter took a tone that reflected the beverage maker’s southern charm. He requested, in a neighborly fashion, that Patrick Wensink, author of Dead Piano for President, change his book cover for its second edition. The company even stated it would pay for a “reasonable amount” of the redesign.
However, Wensink’s response was less cordial. “We will not be taking them up on their offer. We’re proudly independent and don’t need any of that sweet corporate booze money to redo the cover,” he said. There was no mention if a free case of whiskey ever came up in the discussion, or if that would have changed the author’s mind.
Similarities between the two designs could have caused the beverage maker to cry copyright infringement. The distiller could have tried scare tactics and threatened a lawsuit. I’m not an attorney but as I understand the issue, in order to build a successful case against the author the company would have to prove Wensink’s book was sobering its liquor sales. Instead, the Tennessee-based business stayed true to its brand by making a formal request in congenial fashion.
Though I wouldn’t have agreed with sending the letter (really, what’s the point?), I did find it refreshing. What probably originated out of frustration from the corner office, ended up solidifying a company’s brand.