Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 16, 2011 11:31 AM
Feathers ruffled, Kellogg had contacted the tiny nonprofit Maya Archaeology Initiative back in August to tell it to stop using its toucan logo because it supposedly too closely resembled Toucan Sam of Froot Loops cereal fame. As the president of the nonprofit, Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli, commented, “This is a bit like the Washington Redskins claiming trademark infringement against the National Congress of American Indians."
Kellogg has apparently unruffled its feathers as the two sides resolved the trademark flap “amicably,” according to the Detroit Free Press. In fact, the little bit of stress for the people involved in MAI may have paid off big-time for the organization.
"After conversations with MAI to better understand how they intend to use this design, we worked with them to identify an approach to revise their trademark application that will enable them to continue using their logo for their not-for-profit fundraising efforts," stated Kris Charles, Kellogg's vice president for global communications and philanthropy, in an email to the Battle Creek Enquirer.
What's more, Kellogg “is contributing $100,000 to help launch one of the MAI's priority projects to improve the lives of the Maya people in Central America,” the Free Press reports, and the company “will also be featuring major Mayan accomplishments and a link to MAI's website on Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal boxes next year.”
Estrada-Belli told the paper that the money will go toward building a Maya Cultural Center in Guatemala. (As fellow mascot Tony the Tiger might bellow, "That's grrrrrreat!")
As for Kellogg, it is “pleased to support the MAI in its mission to protect and extend the rich history and culture of Mayan people," said Tim Knowlton, vice president of corporate social responsibility for the company, according to the Free Press.