Using Someone Else’s Slogan

Earlier this week, I received an email from Yelp.com (pictured below). If you’re not familiar with the site, it is a great resource to share and look at reviews for local businesses, and they are also getting into the local deals business, so don’t be surprised to see special offers from sports teams through their service. This particular email was focused on promoting local sports bars where you can go watch your favorite teams play.

When I saw the email, I immediately noticed it because the subject line was “Get Yer New York Sports Here!” – for those of you outside the NY metro area that don’t recognize it, that’s the slogan for SportsNet NY (SNY). You can watch one of their newest commercials, and you’ll hear the phrase at the very end. They use it at the end of almost every TV and radio spot they create.

So, what do you think of Yelp’s decision to send an email marketing message that prominently features the slogan of a local sports media outlet? I tried to see if the phrase was trademarked, and my cursory searches did not reveal any results. If the phrase is not trademarked, then it’s probably a great tactic. Of course, if it is trademarked and I just couldn’t find it, using the phrace might not even be legal. Should SNY be angry at Yelp? On one hand, Yelp is benefiting from SNY’s work, but on the other hand, it might help SNY my reminding the reader to watch their programming.

I’m pretty torn on this approach, so I’d love to know what you all think.

3 thoughts on “Using Someone Else’s Slogan

  • September 30, 2011 at 7:53 pm
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    They should be ashamed of themselves for STEALING someone’s hard work! It reminds me of the ‘new’ Mountain West Conference logo that was recently unveiled, it is an exact match of the logo for the BBC show ‘The Doctor’ (and the MWC paid $250,000 for that ripoff). For shame, people!

  • October 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm
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    I believe a slogan is a Copywrite item – such as a novel, and a logo will obtain a Trademark.

    A Copyright is difficult to obtain on words strung together to express an idea, an attitude.

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