Perhaps the only news article getting more press than the World Cup is the story sweeping the nation about the new college drinking game ICED.
If you have no idea what I am referring to check out my previous Bros Icing Bros Drinking Game blog explaining the game (someone is handed a Smirnoff Ice and they have to drop to their knees and drink it on the spot). In the blog I included a photo from the website that was probably the biggest advertising agent for the game, BrosIcingBros.com. (Bro is jargon for a fraternity member, similar to frat boy).
BrosIcingBros.com published consumer-generated photos of “bros” getting “iced” and has received media attention and probably increased consumer rates for Diageo, the company that produces the sugary malt beverage Smirnoff Ice. Previously many media outlets were suggesting that the ‘Bros Icing Bros’ phenomenon was a guerrilla marketing campaign started by Smirnoff themselves, along with the game.
The company has firmly from the beginning denied these allegations. Since the publication of our article the site has been taken down and it is presumably because of Smirnoff. The only text on the website is “We had a good run Bros.”
“Diageo has taken measures to stop this misuse of its Smirnoff Ice brand and marks, and to make it clear that ‘icing’ does not comply with our marketing code, and was not created or promoted by Diageo, Smirnoff Ice, or anyone associated with Diageo,” the company said in a statement.
Across the country lawyers have been commenting on the potential legal case because the website contained the trademarked product name, along with pictures of bros drinking or holding the product that include the Smirnoff Ice logo.
“I would say there is a case because of disparagement of the product and using the name in association with this game,” said Annette Heller, a St. Louis trademark and copyright attorney. “They [BrosIcingBros.com] are using the trademark in a way that disparages the product and exposing Smirnoff to liability.”
An additional copycat website, IcedYou, is still up and running but blurs out the logo in photos and only refers to the product as a malt beverage.
Via Advertising Age