UPDATE: Absa won't laugh it off


“Has ABSA triggered the Streisand Effect?”, asks former Shuttleworth Foundation IP man Andrew Rens on his blogsite (www.aliquidnovi.org).

With a bit of help from Rens, they have. He reports that Absa is threatening to take the South African trade union Solidarity to court for its reworking of the Absa slogan “Today, tomorrow, together” as “Today, tomorrow, goodbye”, and that the offending parody appears on a website run by the union called www.stopabsa.co.za to protest retrenchments of staff by Absa.

Like the actress Barbra Streisand who many years ago sought a court order to prevent a newspaper publishing a picture of her seaside mansion – in the process, making absolutely certain that the whole world got to hear about it – attorneys representing Absa reportedly sent a letter to Solidarity threatening to obtain a court order to force Solidarity to stop using the slogan and shut down its website.

What could have prompted Absa to be so foolish? Are they simply being brand bullies? Can’t be: in 2004 Laugh it Off produced an Absa parody T-shirt, saying, “Papsak:  Getting Drunk Today. Tomorrow. Whenever”, on which the Absa logo had been manipulated to reflect a drunk person grasping for the toilet before hurling. That, for some reason, didn’t offend Absa.

Mr Nose suspects that Absa’s threat to Solidarity merely confirms the old adage: Truth hurts.

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