Following a torrent of complaints about the ‘Lynx Peace’ marketing campaign, which the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) described as a ‘co-opting’ of its name and symbol, Unilever has apologised and agreed a substantial donation in recompense.
The move comes after huge public support for CND over the past week – with thousands targeting Lynx on Twitter and Facebook to express their outrage over the use of CND’s name and symbol to sell their deodorant.
The CND symbol – created by designer Gerald Holtom for the anti-nuclear movement in 1958 – was never copyrighted, precisely to allow it to spread as a universal symbol. But when Lynx began using CND’s name in publicity materials alongside the symbol, CND described it as "totally unacceptable" and as "trading off our 56 year legacy."
CND’s General Secretary, Kate Hudson, said: "All of us here at CND have been overwhelmed with the level of support we’ve received.
"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. The 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 has stated: "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."