What do ice cream and pornography have in common? Well, apart from having billions of people enjoying them on a daily basis, not that much. Ben & Jerry’s decided to sue a hardcore pornographic movies producer for smearing the brand’s reputation.
“Ben & Cherry’s” is the name of a series of X-rated DVDs released by a hardcore XXX movies producer. The 10 DVDs have titles inspired by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream varieties, such as “Peanut Butter D-Cups” and “Boston Cream Thigh”. The ice maker is furious with the movie producer saying the DVD series has violated trademark policies and damaged the company’s reputation.
If Hollywood comedies have taught us something is that for a porn movie to be successful it must have a headline similar to a successful movie, book or why not ice cream. It’s not just that the xxx producer was inventive with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream names, but the DVD packaging has backgrounds very similar to their ice cream containers’ design.
According to the lawsuit Ben & Jerry’s ice cream producer filed in federal court in New York, Caballero Video’s XXX DVDs featured on their cover grazing cows, fluffy white clouds and naked men and women.
“The hardcore and exploitive pornographic infringing ‘Ben & Cherry’s’ DVDs” reads Ben & Jerry’s lawsuit could confuse consumers into believing there is a connection between the ice maker and the pornographic movies producer. The DVDs would make consumers create “an association of the Ben & Jerry’s family of marks and the Ben & Jerry’s trade dress with pornography”.
It is DVD headlines such as “Boston Cream Thigh” that could get consumers thinking there’s a brand association with the ice cream variety called “Boston Cream Pie”. Same goes for “New York Fat & Chunky” and “New York Super Fudge Chunk”, or “Peanut Butter D-Cup” and “Peanut Butter Cup”.
So far, Ben & Jerry hasn’t specified the value of the damages it is seeking, but it’s likely the 35-year-old ice maker is going to strip Caballero Video of just enough to warn other “creative” porn movies producers.
Ben & Jerry should also ask Caballero Video to pay for free advertising. In the end, XXX buffs eat ice cream too.