Adidas Protests BLM Logo, Quickly Abandons That

Company reverses course fast after claiming 3 yellow stripes too similar to its own
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2023 1:00 AM CDT
Updated Mar 29, 2023 5:41 AM CDT
Adidas Objects to Black Lives Matter Logo
An Adidas logo is displayed on a shoe box in Vernon Hills, Ill., Tuesday, Oct 25, 2022.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
UPDATE Mar 29, 2023 5:41 AM CDT

It took all of 48 hours for Adidas to backtrack on its protest of a Black Lives Matter logo. The company announced Wednesday that it would withdraw its opposition to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation's trademark application "as soon as possible," Reuters reports. Adidas did not explain the about-face, though its claim that the group's yellow three-stripe logo was too similar to its own was labeled by some as a "public relation disaster" and "not a good look." Some Twitter users had vowed to boycott the brand.

Mar 29, 2023 1:00 AM CDT

In an appeal to the US Trademark Office, Adidas argues that a prominent Black Lives Matter group is using a logo too similar to the apparel company's. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, a well-known entity in the BLM movement, has applied to trademark its logo, which features three yellow lines underneath the words "Black Lives Matter." Adidas wants the Trademark Office to reject the application because, the company argues, the three yellow lines could cause people to get confused since Adidas also uses a three-line design in its own logo. The Guardian has a comparison of the two logos side by side. Neither entity involved has publicly commented, Reuters reports.

Specifically, Adidas does not want BLM to be allowed to use the three-stripe logo on items also sold by Adidas, including shirts, hats, and bags, because the public might be misled and think those items are connected to or sponsored by Adidas. Adidas' own three-stripe design has been in use since 1952, and in those decades, the company argues, it has gained "international fame and tremendous public recognition." Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has until May 6 to respond to Adidas' filing. Many on Twitter were skeptical, pointing out the obvious differences between the two logos. "Good news for Adidas: no one is going to have the least belief that they are in any way associated with Black Lives Matter or even care about it after this public relation disaster," reads one response to the news. (More Adidas stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.