Korea’s Olympic Tiger Causing Fur to Fly at Kellogg Co.
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) _ A smiling feline created for the 1988 Olympic games in South Korea has raised some growls at Kellogg Co., the home of Tony the Tiger, which doesn’t think the new cat is so g-r-r-r-r-eat.
A spokesman on Tuesday said the Battle Creek-based cereal maker has contacted the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee about Kellogg’s concerns.
″We are discussing with them our concern that the Tiger logo of the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee looks confusingly similar to certain registered trademarks of the Kellogg Co., namely Tony the Tiger and Tony Jr.,″ said spokesman Richard Lovell.
″We’ve been having discussions with them and we expect to reach a resolution in the near future,″ he said. ″Our concern is with the tiger logo, the fact it is a tiger logo and that it is similar to our registered trademarks.″
Lovell wouldn’t say what sort of resolution the company hopes to achieve. He declined further comment on the matter.
The Olympic Committee’s tiger is a cub that wears a five-ringed Olympic badge around his neck and wears a hat with streamers.
Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger and Tony Jr. are depicted on cereal boxes and are shown frequently on cartoons and in television commercials.
Artie Solomon, a U.S. spokesman for the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee with the New York public relations firm of Burson-Marsteller, said he was unaware of a dispute with Kellogg.
″Nobody here knows anything about it,″ he said. ″(The tiger) is just a symbol of an animal that’s associated with the country.″
In April 1984, the Olympic mascot officially was given the name ″Hodori″ from a list of 2,000 names submitted by members of the South Korean public, he said.
″Ho″ is South Korean for tiger, he said, and ″dori″ is a common masculine diminutive in the language.