Holy Guacamole! Why do I manage to get what seems like much more than my fair share of these image-napping, intellectual property rights thievery, blatantly stupid, ridiculously outrageous situations than most folks I know? Does some supreme being decide the fates and send me a greater number of these situations precisely so I can grouse and write posts about them? Is this a case of the internet being a great way to disseminate information and provide logos/ideas with the click of a finger, only to have them possibly “stolen” or “borrowed” without permission, and better yet, to have vigilant readers see the “crime” and report back to the apparent/known source of the image? Or just an early April Fool’s joke? Grumble, grumble, grumble – here we go again…
Regulars on this blog know the story of Marketman’s lechon. It started with posts in the summer of 2008, when I experimented with several iterations of the lovely roasted pig. Then in October 2008 I was asked to cook lechons for a visiting chef, who then filmed an episode of a show called No Reservations, which aired in the U.S. and globally in February 2009. The chef kindly declared the lechons that we cooked for him were “The Best Pig, Ever!” even though we all know that is a bit over-the-top, as most properly done (and no MSG please) lechons anywhere in the Philippines probably deserve accolades as well. After many months of replays of that show, then a mention in Time Magazine as one of the Top 10 “Bests” of Asia, then several newspaper articles, mentions on several news and chismis type tv shows, as well as local television features on Jessica Soho and Unang Hirit, etc. (yes, even I think it’s overdone at this point), my crew decided to try and sell the lechons to supplement their income. The initial customer reaction was wonderful, and we eventually set up a formal corporation (duly registered with the SEC and will all relevant permits) to market the lechons, under the name “ZUBUCHON”.
Through a very well respected ad industry executive, a friend and reader, “Socky” and partners at her firm helped me with logo concept development and the hiring of a graphic artist who developed our Zubuchon logo. The new logo was posted here last November 19, 2009. I published the new logo precisely to put it out there to see if it was similar to any other logos or trademarks that readers may have seen. While there is always a slim chance that our graphic designer swiped it from another source, I think that is highly unlikely as she is connected with a very credible ad agency, and I saw the evolution of the logo from early studies, to revision after revision after revision until we settled on the perky pig with attitude that is now the official logo of Zubuchon. So when readers from the Alabang area noticed a logo on a soon to open food outlet, I was concerned, but when reader “fidkei” sent this link to photos he had taken, the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up!
Is this a joke? I think not. Could it be just some strange coincidence? Possibly, but I would say not likely. Based on the photos, the pig is almost IDENTICAL with the Zubuchon logo, only the word Zubuchon has been removed and replaced with the words “ultimate prito” in the same font and the same bold and thin usage. The color is also red. How can anyone possibly think this is NOT WRONG? How can anyone be so naive, careless, clueless, dumb, stupid, ignorant or unaware that taking a logo or drawing or picture etc. from one business and using it in another is acceptable behavior? Gosh, this is absolutely pathetic.
If you are the owner of this soon to open business, and a casual or regular reader of this blog, and you stole, borrowed without permission, copied, lifted, replicated or however came to use the Zubuchon pig in your own logo, I would really appreciate it if you would immediately remove the pig logo and send me an explanation and apology for its use if you did get it from this blog directly or indirectly, or any of the materials of Zubuchon, Inc. from Cebu or elsewhere.
I do NOT take these kinds of situations lightly. Here are some previous relevant posts that you might want to read:
THE YEMA INCIDENT
What happens when someone steals a photograph from Marketmanila and publishes it in a national newspaper, here.
The “photonapper” apologizes and the national newspaper issues a public explanation of the incident, here.
THE MANGOSTEEN SAGA
What happens when a pretty clear case of plagiarism occurs in a National newspaper, here.
And follow up posts on the matter, here and here.
And the public admission/apology of the writer in the same paper, published here.
THE MARKETMANILA BASKET LOGO AFFAIR
What happens when someone steals the french market basket logo of marketmanila.com, and the unsuspecting client sends the stolen logo right to Marketman’s fax machine! Post here.
So, to the owner(s) of “Ultimate Prito Experience”, please see the light, do the right thing, and repent this Holy Week. If you insist on using the Zubuchon logo, and your signage is still up by Easter Sunday, I will confer with our lawyers next week to map out the appropriate next steps. This isn’t about money, this is simply about right or wrong. Stealing is wrong. Surely as a new business owner you wouldn’t want to open to a distracting controversy over stolen intellectual property? That would be like asking to be fried in one’s own fat. The Ultimate Prito Experience indeed.
P.S. Try googling “Ultimate Prito Experience” and see what comes up. Not an auspicious way for potential future customers to look you up on the net.
Many thanks to “fidkei” for the second photo up top and the other photos in the link provided, as well as for other vigilant readers who recognized this logo and sent me a heads up. :)