Oh, brands. Will you never learn. P&G is trying to give itself a Millennial Cool makeover by grabbing the intellectual property rights to the internet-origin expression 'WTF.' The only possible response to this, of course, is: WTF?
If you thought all those texting acronyms couldn't be yanked out of the digital commons and trademarked, forget that. Procter & Gamble Co. has filed for trademarks on household and personal-care use of LOL, WTF, NBD and FML. FWIW, there's no indication products bearing those names exist yet, and P&G doesn't have trademark approval. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has sought clarifications from P&G, which has until January to respond.
And from Bloomberg:
Chief Executive Officer David Taylor has said P&G already does well with millennials. But a new board member, Nelson Peltz, has faulted the company for being slow to respond to rapidly changing preferences. Upstart products are increasingly eroding market share from established brands, and consumer-products companies have turned to buying smaller rivals to capture their growth.
In the past year, P&G has acquired brands like Native deodorant, which markets itself as “deodorant that isn’t a chemistry experiment,” and introduced greener versions of classic products, including a line called Pampers Pure Protection. It also bought Snowberry, a New Zealand skincare company, in February.
P&G declined to comment.