The royal baby is here! Finally! Excitement over the new bundle for Kate Middleton and Prince William is so contagious it has spilled across the pond to America where corporations are already doing what corporations do: squeezing dollars out of the royal baby.
Ah yes, this is how America celebrates well, everything, isn't it? We market it. Everyone from Oreos to Coca-Cola jumped on board immediately yesterday with royal baby themed announcements, tied, of course, to their particular products.
But is this fair to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge or the itty bitty future ruler?
Well, that depends on how you look at it. The British government has very strict rules about how companies can make use of the royal family in its marketing, rules that were reiterated in the run-up to the arrival of His Royal Highness.
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According to the British Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), "members of the Royal Family should not be shown or mentioned in marketing without their prior permission." The Royal arms or emblems cannot be used without prior permission from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office. And any baby memorabilia must NOT be marked as "official."
That's all in Britain. What we do over here is a whole different ball of wax, as Ad Age found when they took a peek around the Internet at how corporations were handling the royal baby's arrival. Plenty of American companies decided they'd weigh in, and there's really nothing the royals can do about it.
But as a mom, I can't help feeling a little protective of the little guy. No child -- no matter how famous -- should be used by companies to sell yogurt without Mom and Dad's permission (and a healthy cut of the profits). His public standing does not negate his humanity, folks!
The companies that have done it best this week are those that respected Kate and Wills' privacy, sending best wishes to the prince and his parents rather than flat out trying to convince people a new baby should make them use a product.
Check out five of the ads that have made use of the royal baby -- some that got it right, some that got it wrong.
Do you think it's appropriate for companies to use the royal baby in marketing?
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