Marmite launches legal action against BNP

Craig Woodhouse,Press Association
Thursday 22 April 2010 14:11

Marmite is beginning legal action against the British National Party after an image of a Marmite jar was used on a political broadcast without its permission, the company said today.

The jar featured in the top left-hand corner of a video shown on the BNP's website.

The firm released a statement saying: "It has been brought to our attention that the British National Party has included a Marmite jar in a political broadcast shown currently online.

"We want to make it absolutely clear that Marmite did not give the BNP permission to use a pack shot of our product in their broadcast. Neither Marmite nor any other Unilever brand are aligned to any political party.

"We are currently initiating injunction proceedings against the BNP to remove the Marmite jar from the online broadcast and prevent them from using it in future."

The video was publicly available on the BNP's website this morning but now appears to have been removed.

The Marmite jar appeared in the top left hand corner of the screen when party leader Nick Griffin was addressing viewers in the BNP's general election broadcast.

It provoked mixed opinion from contributors to a messageboard beneath the video, with several calling for the logo to be ditched but others praising it as a "brilliant" way to attract publicity.

Current advertising for Marmite is based around the slogan "love it or hate it" - an idea the BNP appears to have been trying to adopt.

Marmite is owned by multinational company Unilever, whose other brands include PG Tips, Knorr and Vaseline.

Anti-BNP campaigners Hope not Hate said the reaction of BNP supporters calling for the jar's logo to be removed from the broadcast was virtually unprecedented, adding that contributions to the website are normally tightly controlled.

Spokesman Dan Hodges said: "In politics there is only one thing worse than being hated, and that's being mocked.

"Nick Griffin's Marmite broadcast has turned his party into a laughing stock, and it is quite clear his own members are not happy about it."

The Marmite jar is also featured at the end of the video, next to the party's logo and the slogan "Love Britain, Vote BNP".

The broadcast, which is almost five minutes long and is still available on video-sharing website YouTube, begins with an air-raid siren followed by Mr Griffin telling viewers he will not "flatter and deceive, to promise everything to everyone" but will "tell the truth about the terrible state of our country".

A voice-over warns that British people have become "second-class citizens", while footage of a woman in a burka walking towards a mosque is shown.

It then makes a number of claims about asylum seekers, MPs' expenses and the EU, before calling for troops to be brought home from Afghanistan immediately.

Several BNP supporters give their reasons for choosing the party, before Mr Griffin again addresses the camera.

He says: "I will put British people first all the time, every time, and I don't care what the politicians and media liars say because of it.

"I tell the truth. So don't waste your vote - do the one thing that will really upset politicians: get your own back.

"Get up, get out and vote British National Party - then they will listen."

Comments submitted below the video on the BNP's website revealed split opinions among BNP supporters about the use of the logo.


Johnnyb wrote: "Good stuff, but like others have said, get rid of the Marmite logo. It distracts from the message and makes you look cheap. Ignore Marmite's silly campaign, concentrate on being a serious political party. The general public will not get irony. Please, please take it off, it will just distract from the serious issues. Apart from that, great video."

And Adam added: "The Marmite, please don't put that in."

But SBD said: "Didn't like the Marmite at first, but the more I think about it - BRILLIANT. It will get people talking and therefore watching - it will get publicity...If Marmite don't like it they may complain, then it'll be all over the papers. To victory."

And Disapointed (sic) posted: "Didn't get the Marmite thing at first, but now that I do, I think that it's great. Shows that we British still have a sense of humour."

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