Unilever abuses peace sign to sell deodorant

This video from Britain says about itself:

Sian Jones, representing the Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp, addresses the rally in Trafalgar Square during the ‘No Trident‘, ‘Troops out of Iraq‘ demonstration on 24 February 2007.

CND peace signs featured prominently at this demonstration, as in many other pro-peace demonstrations.

This video is about making a CND peace sign with henna on someone’s hand.

By Luke James in Britain:

CND threatens Unilever over use of peace symbol

Friday 9th May 2014

Cynical transnational using iconic anti-nuclear sign to flog Lynx deodorant

CAMPAIGN for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) threatened to sue consumer goods transnational Unilever yesterday for “cynically” using its iconic peace symbol to flog deodorant.

The Morning Star can reveal CND has been forced to resort to legal action after Unilever refused to make a donation for using its symbol to brand and advertise its Lynx products.

Unilever are not only abusing a peace symbol, but also a beautiful animal, the lynx.

Unilever has a history of advertisements which are … err … ‘economical with the truth’.

In 2011, ‘a series of ads by Unilever’s Lynx – a brand of deodorants for men – were banned by the UK’s Advertising Standard Authority over complaints that the ads were degrading to women and gratuitously objectified them’: here. “Lynx” is called “Axe” in some other countries.

A copyright row has been brewing since the new “Lynx Peace” range, including body spray, shower gel and shampoo, was launched last month.

The bottles all feature the distinctive peace logo that was created for CND when it was established in 1957.

The logo was not copyrighted in order for it to be spread across the world but CND has previously received donations from dozens of companies who used it for commercial gain.

A Unilever spokeswoman said it was refusing to cough up following CND’s polite request because “the icon is recognised and used as a universal symbol of peace.”

But the company has identified the symbol as CND’s on the official Lynx Effect Twitter account.

A message promoting a photo stunt for the campaign to 60,000 followers reads: “One giant, man-made CND symbol in Trafalgar Square, London for #LynxPeace”

CND general secretary Kate Hudson said: “By describing it as the ‘CND symbol’ Lynx is no longer offering a generic nod to peace, but is directly trading off our 56-year legacy.

“The millions who have stood with CND symbols in Trafalgar Square over the last half-century will find it galling to see such a flagrant co-opting of decades of activism against nuclear weapons and war.”

The compensation bid comes after the peace group forced a high-street chain that used its symbol to make a donation in a similar stand-off last year.

The company initially refused but relented when the campaign’s lawyers confronted it with a strong case, the Star understands.

Unilever is marketing the products with a “make love, not war” campaign in conjunction with Peace One Day, which organises support for the UN’s Peace Day on September 21.

The Lynx promotional website states: “For decades Lynx has brought guys and girls together, but Lynx Peace is taking it one step further by using the power of attraction to bring the world together in the name of love, not war.”

Visitors are also asked to Tweet their own peace pledge.

Ms Hudson called it “refreshing” to see big business taking an interest in peace issues and investing £9 million in its advertising campaign for Britain that will expose millions to CND’s symbol and its meaning.

But she added: “We draw the line when a corporation cynically uses not only our symbol but CND’s name and history for profit.

“Let’s not mince our words here: Lynx Peace is a marketing campaign to sell deodorant.”

So, a corporation with a twentieth century history of helping King Leopold II of Belgium kill millions of Africans in Congo and a twenty-first century history of oppressing workers in Pakistan and elsewhere, acts like polluting corporations trying to ‘greenwash‘ themselves in public relations. Unilever has also been accused of that. Unilever now tries to ‘peacewash’ itself. Cynically, one may suggest it could have been even worse: merchants of death like BAE Systems abusing the peace sign, using the slogan from George Orwell’s novel 1984, ‘War is peace’.

UPDATE: CORPORATE giant Unilever has caved in to pressure from peace campaigners to cough up a donation to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) for use of its iconic symbol: here.

Unilever in France: here.

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11 thoughts on “Unilever abuses peace sign to sell deodorant

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