Copyrighted Images & Products in Political Campaign Advertising

The company that manufactures the food product Marmite is suing the British National Party . . . because the political group used a picture of a jar of Marmite in some of their campaign advertisements without permission from the company. According to The IP Factor:

“For readers who were deprived of a British or South African childhood, Marmite is a sandwich spread made from yeast extract, which is very healthy, and an excellent source of Vitamin B12. It is, however, an aquired taste, and unless one was introduced to it as a child, the smell would probably put one off tasting the stuff.”

political campaign copyrightThis, of course, brings up an important point for anyone who is running in a local election: you cannot use copyrighted or trademarked products and images in your political campaign advertising, on your campaign website, or on any campaigning materials.

Even if a specific company has donated to your campaign and agrees with your platform, there are few companies that want to have their name associated with political candidates or parties . . . it’s just too polarizing. I don’t know of many companies who can afford to tick off half of the populace by letting their product images be used by a political candidate.

And don’t be so sure that companies won’t notice that you’re using their products in advertisements just because you are running in a small local election, either. In today’s Internet age, images and news travels fast.

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