Last year, well-known search marketer Jennifer Laycock set up the Lactivist project, where she explained step-by-step how to market a new web site on a budget. Part of the project were the funny shirts she sold to promote breastfeeding, including one called "The Other White Milk." Turns out the National Pork Board thinks that violates their trademark on the phrase "The Other White Meat."
Jennifer has more in her post, Overzealous Big Pork Stomps on Breastfeeding Blogger. They’ve sent her a number of demands, plus suggested she’s trying to promote some type of adult breastfeeding fetish. I like the part in the letter that explains:
The Other White Meat has become instantly recognizable and famous in connection with the promotion of the pork industry. In addition to the use of these marks on pork products themselves, these marks are also used to promote high quality pork products….
I’ve heard breasts called many things but never have I heard them considered pork or pork products. Ditto breastmilk.
Yep, saying "The Other White Milk" does call to mind the famous pork slogan, as the letter (PDF) points out. But I don’t think anyone thinks the National Pork Board is somehow endorsing Jennifer’s shirts nor that the shirts somehow tarnish the reputation of the pork slogan. Frankly, the letter to Jennifer tarnishes the National Pork Board’s reputation more than her T-shirts could possibly have done. But they’ll find that out soon enough.
We know where this is all going. In short order, the threat will get pulled. But we’ve all got to yammer on about the absurdity first. So motors started. Blogosphere, time to sound off. Two suggestions here.
First, drop the National Pork Board a line through this contact form. They’ve given her until 5pm Mountain Time on Feb. 5 to respond. The counter-action from our end is they have until that time to stop a link bombing campaign in her support.
And that campaign? Well, if they keep going after her, I saw everyone links to Jennifer’s article this way: Back Off National Pork Board. I’ve made that nofollow for now. But with no-nofollow links like that from across the web, there’s a pretty good chance the article will start ranking well for the phrase "National Pork Board."
But I thought you just wrote about it how Google stopped link bombs! I did, not that you can find the article in Google anywhere — everyone else referencing it, sure, but not the article! But I digress.
The fix is only designed to stop link bombs against pages that do NOT want to be found for particular terms. Jennifer talks about the National Pork Board in her article, as it makes sense to do. She has an excellent chance of ranking well for it.
So c’mon National Pork Board, do the right thing. Make a donation to some groups that support breastfeeding while you’re at it.
Postscript: Jennifer’s story is now popular on Digg here.