Cows vs Bulls: A struggle for dominance on Animal Farm
Austrian energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull has launched legal proceedings in Colombia against PinkCow, a drinks company from Spain. The new legal challenge – which follows two unsuccessful attempts to sue in Europe – is based on Red Bull’s opposition to the similarity between the two companies’ logos. Red Bull’s logo depicts two red bulls locking horns, while PinkCow shows a winged pink cow taking flight.
“Red Bull gives you wings” is the immediately familiar tagline of the multinational. Yet the legal challenge based on PinkCow’s logo is difficult to understand. Red Bull’s logo does not include any imagery of wings, and this has so far been central to PinkCow’s legal defence of its marketing strategy.
The objection to PinkCow’s distribution in Colombia comes after two European rulings on the matter, which both fell in favour of the Spanish company. Twice the multinational complained to the OAMI, the European Union agency responsible for company registrations and branding rights, and twice it was rebuffed. First in September 2013, and then again in October 2014, the notion of a risk of brand confusion was rejected.
Nevertheless, to the dismay of the Spanish company’s founder, Flavio Morganti, Red Bull has continued its legal pursuit on this side of the Atlantic.
A PinkCow press statement released on July 29 complained of “a clear interest on the part of Red Bull to impede the growth of PinkCow in Spain and the Americas”.
Speaking to The Bogota Post, Mr Morganti insisted his company has no appetite for the ongoing legal battle.
“We don’t want to fight,” he asserted before going on to defend PinkCow’s branding strategy. “I don’t have to defend myself. The logos are not the same. We are not an energy drink.”
By Benjamin Wein