Spam manufacturer continues brand defence campaign

Hormel is planning its first major TV advertising push, with £2m slated to raise the profile of its flagship canned, processed meat product

Spiced-ham maker Hormel has announced a massive UK advertising campaign in what may be seen as an attempt to wrestle back the name of its flagship 'spam' product from widespread negative associations with unsolicited email.

For the first time ever Hormel will begin advertising on UK television screens next week with a campaign that cost £2m, according to a report on the BBC.

The adverts will feature an array of 'typical' British characters - including builders, campers and pantomime performers - all enjoying spam. According to Hormel the UK consumes around £13.3m worth of spam each year.

But in recent years Hormel has become increasingly tetchy about the use of the word 'spam' to describe one of modern society's worst tech-menaces.

Last year anti-spam firm SpamArrest was sued by Hormel for trademark infringement over its use of the word spam in its company name.

At the time, Brian Cartmell, CEO of SpamArrest, said: "Hormel is acting like a corporate cry baby. Dozens of companies use the word 'spam' in their legal and commercial names and no one confuses any of us with the Hormel canned meat product."

Seattle attorney Derek A Newman added: "Spam has become ubiquitous throughout the world to describe unsolicited commercial email. No company can claim trademark rights on a generic term."

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