Not content with hijacking St. George’s Day to publish the BNP’s manifesto, Nick Griffin, the leader of the ultra-right political party, the BNP has plagerised another great British icon – Marmite.
In response, the BNP was threatened with legal action from brand giant, Unilever over the party featuring a jar of Marmite in a political broadcast. The brand owner said it had not given the BNP permission to use its product and was seeking to take out an injunction.
The BNP’s removed its online party broadcast from the party’s website, However it is still viewable on YouTube. The nature of viral videos virtually ensures that the injunction will make it highly spreadable (‘virtually’, rather than any other sense of the word, ‘spread’).
Back-pedalling, Mr Griffin tried to explain to the BBC that the broadcast was a spoof capitalising on Marmite’s ”love it or hate it” advertising slogan.
Distancing itself from BNP’s hijacking of a British brand favourite, Unilever, whose other brands include PG Tips, Knorr and Vaseline, said:
“Neither Marmite nor any other Unilever brand are aligned to any political party.
“We are currently initiating injunction proceedings against the BNP to remove the Marmite jar from the online broadcast and prevent them from using it in future.”
BNP claimed that it was the inspiration for Marmite’s “Hate Party.” The party said it was complaining against Unilever to the Electoral Commission for “interference with the electoral process.”
A series of Twitter messages from Mr Griffin were posted on the BNP website.
“Unilever PR men and lawyers all over us like a rash,” spluttered Griffin.
“Very upset at our using Marmite in our TV broadcast. They should have thought of that before modelling the one for their Hate Party on us. Quite simply, if you start a spoof, you should expect to get spoofed”
Mr Griffin took no responsibility for the Marmite logo appearing in the BNP’s online broadcast — an unknown “joker” had inserted the image, he spuriously claimed.
Love it or hate it, you’ve got to admire Marmite for making a great British stand against what many will see as an insult to a true British icon- and I am not referring to the man from the party of the right.
In honour of the brand, I for one will be enjoying a nice bit of toast with some Marmite on it whilst watching the election debates.