Fishy business

Originally posted 2008-02-10 23:19:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Funny things happen to trademarks in the Casbah.  John Burgess at the Crossroads Arabia blog has a story about a recent incident of Saudi Arabia’s religious police overplaying their considerable hand in connection with the arrest of a Saudi woman for having coffee with a colleague at Starbucks.

Not our topic.  But this aside did grab me, considering the special attention Starbucks and its trademark adventures have gotten on this blog over the years:

Starbucks and the religious police have a bit of a history. When the company first arrived, its logo of a mermaid caused some consternation because some thought they could see breasts beneath all that hair. To avoid problems, Starbucks came up with another logo, a seahorse. [I do wonder how the police reacted when they learned that male seahorses give birth! Talk about ‘gender bending’!!] By 2003, however, the mermaid was back on the signs, cups, and napkins. What happened to occasion that, I haven’t a clue.

Perhaps she swam her way into their hearts, or their coffee cups.  Or, more likely, the heat was off — at least for a while.

Now the heat is back, albeit on questionable grounds.  You can be sure we will milk the story here for all it’s worth.

UPDATE:  Oddly enough, this story has perked up once again.  According to the And Far Away blog, the 1992-2010 Saudi Starbucks logo was not a seahorse, but this “a crown swimming in the sea” — here, you take a look:

The real story, though, says Roba Al-Assi, is the “chadorable” logo Starbucks al Saud is about to switch to — or, which, as she says in the post, she can only imagine….

I’m not sure all her commenter’s “get it” — maybe they hadn’t had their first cup yet.

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Author:Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

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5 Responses to “Fishy business”

  1. February 11, 2008 at 2:43 am #

    Is that as in latte or panna or are you getting into the attributes of mermaids when you ‘milk this for all it’s worth?’ Curious–and maybe scandalized–people want to know!

  2. February 12, 2008 at 7:55 pm #

    Not. Going. To. Touch. It.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® » Blog Archive » Another black eye for Starbucks - September 22, 2008

    [...] embarrassed in Africa… cross-branding eye-crossing in Manhattan… compromising in Arabia… and now [...]

  2. Randall Hull - April 4, 2011

    RT @RonColeman: Fishy business – The Starbucks logo hits the Saudi sands http://bit.ly/f5inIz | LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® (Updated post)

  3. The Br@nd Ranch - April 4, 2011

    RT @RonColeman: Fishy business – The Starbucks logo hits the Saudi sands http://bit.ly/f5inIz | LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® (Updated post)

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