When you’re working on developing a reputation as a trademark bully, it’s good to go after multiple targets. We guess that’s why the website BevReview.com has received notice that it should remove any advertisement and sale of Monster Energy drinks from its site. The only problem is, it doesn’t advertise or sell drinks—it reviews them. And it didn’t give Monster Energy a good review.
BevReview’s editor Steve Tanner has been contacted twice now by Continental Enterprises, a firm working for Hansen Beverage Company to “help control the use of its mark.” Based on the language they used in their communications with BevReview, we think they didn’t even bother to read the page they’re complaining about.
Continental Enterprises (“Continental”) has been engaged by Hansen to help control the use of its mark. You are receiving this letter because Continental has received information that you advertised and/or sold products bearing one or more of the Hansen marks, or confusingly similar derivations thereof. We understand that the inclusion of the Hansen marks on your product may have been an oversight. However, on behalf of Hansen, Continental must demand that you discontinue your advertisement and sale of these products.
Upon your receipt and review of this letter, please contact our offices so that we may work toward a resolution of the issue that is satisfactory to all parties involved.
Hansen Beverage Company considers this a serious matter and, if you do not take immediate steps to resolve this issue, they will be forced to take more aggressive action to protect their intellectual property rights.
At first we were amused by how stupid Continental Enterprises was being by mistaking a review for an advertisement. Then we though Hansen was being duped by a firm that was just trying to look busy so it could earn its keep. But after reading the review in question, we wonder whether they’re confusing the two formats on purpose.
You see, BevReview’s review of Monster Energy was not that favorable:
The color of the drink was dark yellowish… I guess you could call it amber, but who really knows. Think apple juice with a somewhat red tint. As for the taste, well… it was odd. Think citrus + medicine. Yum! There wasn’t a lot of carbonation (which reminded me somewhat of how Vault is being positioned as a hybrid soda/energy drink). The aftertaste was somewhat bitter, rather acidic. Not really pleasant, to tell you the truth. I actually couldn’t quite place what the heck the flavor actually was. It starts out smooth, and then the aftertaste kicks in and ruins it. (Of course, this might also have to do with the fact that sucralose is listed as an ingredient.)
Overall, the taste was weird and I don’t think I’d want to drink this again.
So maybe Hansen and Continental aren’t being as dense as they appear; maybe they know that if they intentionally misread the content of a site, they may be able to informally pressure the blog’s owner to remove the negative review. Either way, before you drink a can of Monster Energy, we hope you take BevReview’s fair and honest review of the drink under consideration.
“Monster Energy vs. BevReview.com” [BevReview]