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  #1  
Old 02 June 2011, 05:55 PM
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Icon220 Body Shop Barbie

Comment: http://www.anitaroddick.com/readmore.php?sid=13

http://www.piercemattie.com/beautydi...rbie_doll.html

Did Mattel (sometimes called "Barbie, inc.") really sue The Body Shop over
their posters of a curvy doll? The poster doesn't look like Barbie, nor
does it reference Barbie or Mattel in the text.

An internet search only turned up the story and urges to share far and
wide, but nothing from a legitimate source regarding the alleged lawsuit.
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  #2  
Old 02 June 2011, 08:24 PM
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I was attempting to debunk this one yesterday, and this article was the best I could find in a hurry. At least it revealed that the campaign was from 1998*, and therefore unlikely to be revived, no matter how often people "shared" it.

*ETA: which was also mentioned in the first link above, but not in the message I saw being passed around on Facebook.
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  #3  
Old 03 June 2011, 12:13 PM
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Hans Off Hans Off is offline
 
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No, Mattell didn't sue.

For a cite, I worked in the Corporate PR department at TBS in the months after the Ruby Campaign, there were even some "Rubys" produced that were knocking around the office when I was there..

Last edited by Hans Off; 03 June 2011 at 12:13 PM. Reason: spelink
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  #4  
Old 03 June 2011, 12:37 PM
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I want to know this, too. A FB friend of mine posted it and I'm trying to figure out on what grounds "Barbie inc" can stand that gives them the right to tell anyone else what they can or cannot publish, unless it falls under copyright infringement, which I simply cannot see by any stretch of the imagination.

Because "We RILLY RILLY RILLY HATE IT THAT'S WHY" just isn't compelling enough legal grounds to tell someone else what they can or can't do.

A subway pulling it because of teh nekkid is completely unrelated to "Barbie Inc" telling someone else what they can post or publish.

~I read those links Tootsie posted and they are frustrating because they say that Barbie sent a "cease and desist" order but they don't say if The Body Shop just said "you can't tell me what to do jackhole" and dared them to sue (which apparently they didn't do, nor would they have won) or if they actually did pull them.

TRYING to ban something and succeeding are two different things and they aren't really making a clear distinction.

Last edited by snapdragonfly; 03 June 2011 at 12:44 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03 June 2011, 12:47 PM
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Hmmm.

http://sheheroes.org/2011/06/bring-back-ruby/

Hans Off, what other details can you offer?
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  #6  
Old 03 June 2011, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: http://www.anitaroddick.com/readmore.php?sid=13

http://www.piercemattie.com/beautydi...rbie_doll.html

Did Mattel (sometimes called "Barbie, inc.") really sue The Body Shop over
their posters of a curvy doll? The poster doesn't look like Barbie, nor
does it reference Barbie or Mattel in the text.
I emailed Mattel corporate, but only got the canned reply, so far.

The Bodyshop was a British company at the time the Ruby campaign was run. I don't know much about USA IP laws, and I know even less about UK IP laws, but I think it is easier for companies to sue for various infringements in the UK.

It does seem to me that the only reliable information says that TBS dropped the campaign, not that they lost in court. Perhaps they decided they couldn't afford to go to court against Mattel? That doesn't amount to a ban, but it does mean that Mattel stifled their campaign.
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  #7  
Old 03 June 2011, 04:35 PM
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IF The Body Shop had been printing in their advertisements "Ruby is the anti-Barbie", Mattel would have had a point. If there were internal memos at TBS calling Ruby the anti-Barbie, Mattel *might* have a point. In either case, Ruby was not a product that was being sold, and Mattel would have a very hard time proving intent to harm and receiving damages.

Bottom line: this was 12 years ago, nothing happened. Move on.

BTW - I love the idea of the ad campaign. I would think it would be very effective in creating a brand loyalty to TBS. I don't think Ruby would sell very well as an actual product for children, but I love her as an adult advertising icon.
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Old 07 June 2011, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmoulding View Post

It does seem to me that the only reliable information says that TBS dropped the campaign, not that they lost in court.
IIRC the campaign had run it's natural course rather than it being "dropped"...

and I think it was only run in the States, but It all fades into the mists of time!!
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  #9  
Old 07 June 2011, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapdragonfly View Post
I want to know this, too. A FB friend of mine posted it and I'm trying to figure out on what grounds "Barbie inc" can stand that gives them the right to tell anyone else what they can or cannot publish, unless it falls under copyright infringement, which I simply cannot see by any stretch of the imagination.
Well they (Body Shop) would have to have produced something that would create confusion in the consumers mind about either Barbie or Mattel. Ie if they'd labelled their doll "Barbbie", or closely copied Mattel's fonts, or put their ads along side ads for children's toys. That would be a start.
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  #10  
Old 08 June 2011, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post
and I think it was only run in the States, but It all fades into the mists of time!!
I definitely remember seeing it here in Australia.
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  #11  
Old 08 June 2011, 06:41 PM
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In the shops or in the media?

I believe there were distinctions between the campaigns for the international regions... I'm sure my brain will drag up more details as time goes by...
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  #12  
Old 08 June 2011, 07:22 PM
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Anita Roddick (the author of the first piece) was actually the owner of The Body Shop, so if she said Mattel sent a cease-and-desist letter, they presumably did. Which isn't sueing, obviously. She died in 2007.
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  #13  
Old 08 June 2011, 07:23 PM
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One of the comments on the last link stated that the original poster, the reclining on a green sofa on, used a Barbie doll head on the Ruby body, which would give Mattel a legitimate grievance, I would think.
In googling for images it does look as though the sofa-reclining-doll has a different face than the full-frontal doll, though it looks more like the barbie face than the whole Barbie head, there is a hint of more than one chin!
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  #14  
Old 10 June 2011, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post
In the shops or in the media?

I believe there were distinctions between the campaigns for the international regions... I'm sure my brain will drag up more details as time goes by...
In the shops. I remember seeing posters in the shop windows with the doll reclining on some sort of fancy couch.
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