Winning the both the Dumbest Company of the Year award and the Shoot-yourself-in-the-customer award so early in the year is a 1st, but I'm pretty sure that this is not going to get beaten this year, so I duly announce the Ford Motor Company to be the Dumbest Company of 2008 in the whole universe. While I'm at it, they win next year and last year too.
It all started when the 9000 member strong Black Mustang Club decided to make a calendar of their cars. these are the guys that Ford makes it's cars for. Guys that cherish and enthuse about cars all day.
The members duly photographed, cropped touched and generally toiled on collecting a great showcase of their wonderful black mustangs and submitted the artwork to CafePress for making into a calendar for sale to BMC members.
The problems started immediately: CafePress notified the group that Ford legal tits had contacted them to block the publishing of the calendar.Get this: Ford claim that they own all representations of Ford vehicles in any photograph ever published and that no photo of a Ford may ever be used by anyone ever without their say so. So there. CafePress were worried enough by Ford hounding them that they have complied with the request and you cannot now get CafePress output with ford cars at all.
Hilarity ensued with around 9000 Mustang owners suddenly realising that although they have the car of their dreams, it’s a dream manufactured by probably the most tainted and evil company in the world.
A ford spokesman today suggested that any car owners wanting to take pictures of their cars should buy a GM or BMW vehicle instead.
You may also like to think about finding a printing house that understands copyright and trademark law too!
More on this crazy trademark issue here.