MAN-CAT's Pussy Cola Antics Grabbed Attention of Pepsi's Lawyers

Categories: News

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MAN-CAT showing off their cease and desist orders.

Lana Del Rey's "Cola" put some interesting visuals in our heads, especially that line about the particular flavor of her labia - "My pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola," she sings. As we've already gone into, local pranksters MAN-CAT took the vulgarity one step further, creating their own ad campaign, complete with a website (pussycola.com) which encouraged folks to print out fake labels and leave them on bottles in stores. Some people actually did this, as evidenced by a number of pictures in Fry's, Target, Wal-Mart and Safeway in Tempe.

See also:

Culture Jammers MAN-CAT Introduce Lana Del Rey's, Ahem, Pussy Cola (NSFW)

While most people took the joke on the chin (except one Norwegian website that apparently thought it was real. LOLZ.) PepsiCo was none too pleased. They served the band with a cease and desist order and threatened legal action. Even though the operation falls under "parody or satire" and is therefore Fair Use, MAN-CAT reluctantly complied. Why?

Well, before all this, PepsiCo went after the band's web hosting company, who panicked and shut down all the band's sites, including the band's own homepage. PepsiCo then sent their cease and desist to MAN-CAT, claiming the campaign was confusing consumers and infringing on their trademark since the band's mock logo was so similar.

"[It] went into great detail about how over the past several decades Pepsi has built up this brand integrity of goodwill and whatnot," MAN-CAT described over email. "Then, they went into how what we're doing is tricking people into thinking there is a new Pepsi product and associating Pepsi with vulgarity and obscenity ... Basically, they were implying that everyone is too thick to get the joke and that this would actually be a real thing to some people."

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Some evidence of MAN-CAT's handiwork that pissed off Pepsi.

MAN-CAT fought back and forth with their web provider and later put the following disclaimer on their pussycola.com site: "THIS SITE AND VIDEO HAVE NO ASSOCIATION WITH PEPSICO OR ANY OF THEIR TASTY PRODUCTS."

Did that satisfy Pepsi? No.

They immediately sent a second cease and desist order, this time a much more aggressive one threatening legal action. According to the band, Pepsi laid out evidence in exhibits "A and B," going so far as to cite every image on the band's Tumblr, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

As you can imagine, threats like this are pretty intimidating and MAN-CAT yielded, saying via email, "We removed everything they wanted gone, to avoid being put in court. We can't afford that. We never formally responded to any of their emails, though. We have not said a word to them."

In an official Facebook post, MAN-CAT further explained their decision to throw in the towel: "We're not giving up. We're choosing our battles. Four young dudes in child's tiger masks scared one of the largest corporations with a vagina joke. We will keep doing these projects, and they will get bigger and better as we go. In other words, don't worry about us. We aren't about to blow our load for this one."

Now if you visit pussycola.com it redirects to the statement above and an image of the four cat-masked culture jammers chowing down on greasy pizza, using the cease and desists as napkins.

Here's where I inject my own opinion, with the inevitable question: Why isn't Lana Del Rey also getting cease and desist orders? After all, her little tune has garnered millions of views, compared to the mere 17,000 MAN-CAT ever touched. Oh, wait ... Lana has lawyers, MAN-CAT doesn't. Lana is giving the soft drink company (sort of) positive endorsements, MAN-CAT (sort of) isn't.

Besides the fact they're rarely this edgy, do you think Saturday Night Live would be threatened with lawsuits if they had come up with a sketch like this? Doubtful. This seems to be a classic case of a mega-corporation squashing any dissenters because they can. But oh well! You can't win 'em all and it was pretty fuckin' funny, wasn't it?

Troy Farah covers more cultural antics at troyfarah.com


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