ThinkGeek, an online shopping Website devoted to the “global geek community” comes up with an April Fool’s Day product each year. The product for 2010 was Radiant Farms Canned Unicorn Meat, or as ThinkGeek dubbed it, “Unicorn–the new white meat.”
Though the product was meant to be a joke, the National Pork Board missed the punchline. The National Pork Board, through Faegre & Benson, LLP, recently sent a 12-page cease and desist letter via fax and certified mail to ThinkGeek for infringing upon the pork industry’s 23-year old slogan calling pork “the other white meat.”
Upon receiving the cease and desist letter, ThinkGeek issued a press release apologizing for the misunderstanding.
“It was never our intention to cause a national crisis and misguide American citizens regarding the differences between the pig and unicorn,” said Scott Kauffman, President and CEO of ThinkGeek. “In fact, ThinkGeek’s canned unicorn meat is sparkly, a bit red, and not approved by any government entity.”
ThinkGeek’s descriptions and catchy marketing for the Unicorn meat include sayings such as “Caviar is so 1980s. Unicorn is the sparkling, crunchy, savory meat of today’s elite” and “Pâté is passé. Unicorn – the new white meat.”
ThinkGeek’s letter says, “We’d like to publicly apologize to the [National Pork Board] for the confusion over unicorn and pork–and for their awkward extended pause on the phone after we had explained our unicorn meat doesn’t actually exist.”
The letter goes on to describe ThinkGeek’s support for pork products. “Ironically, other than the Pork Board, we do more than anybody else to promote pig consumption among geeks,” Kauffman commented.
Humorously, ThinkGeek actually promotes a wide variety of pork products such as bacon gumballs, bacon soap, bacon mints, bacon flavored popcorn, bacon-flavored envelopes (called MMMVelopes), and bacon lipgloss.
“If you look at the number of bacon products we sell on our Website, we’re doing a good job on spreading the good word for pork,” Shane Peterman, ThinkGeek’s PR manager said.
In addition to its apology to the Pork Board, ThinkGeek is also extending a special discount to consumers offended by the portrayal of Unicorn meat as the “other white meat.”