Jessica Alba is messing with the wrong toddler.
In a war of she-said she-said, the battle between the two Honest companies is raging and someone, well, isn't being very honest.
Coles notes version (or Crib notes for our U.S. audience):
Alba's Honest Company is attempting to block popular Montreal-based mom blogger Honest Toddler from using the Honest Toddler name, including its use on Twitter, Facebook, the popular blog and the new television series optioned by 90210 and Sex in the City-famed producer Darren Star.
Alba's side: People will confuse the brands. We had the domain name honesttodler.com first. We've been nice. We've reached out. We're just protecting our patent and our brand.
Honest Toddler's side: Consumers are smart people and can easily differentiate the brand. The name Honest Toddler was popular before Honest Company became known on the market and used the name Honest Toddler in advance of knowing the $15 domain name for honesttoddler.com was purchased by the Honest Company. The latter is not a patent infringement. It's just a protected domain name.
There is much more in the back and forth between the two parties but the gist is 'we're protecting ourselves' versus 'this should be a non-issue leave us alone.'
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Honest Toddler is a super hilarious mom blogger. Honest Company makes eco-friendly products. I was laughing with and at Honest Toddler long before I knew Jessica Alba was in the business of bath products and I know I'm not alone. Is Alba trying to capitalize on HT's success? What could their motivation possibly be?
I don't buy that the Honest Company is genuinely concerned people will think their products from the same company has HT.
I don't know what's more insulting. That Jessica Alba thinks consumers are too stupid to differentiate the brands, or that she thinks consumers are stupid enough to believe that that's the real reason she's trying to block HT's trademark.
In her rebuttal to the Honest Company, Bunmi Laditan, the brains behind the Toddler, says: "Many companies operate successfully with similar names. For example, have you ever bought Ritz crackers expecting to be making a hotel reservation at Ritz hotels? Of course not. Consumers can differentiate between different companies that both use the word 'honest'." Who can argue with that? Apparently, Honest Company can.
Honest Company has the money to fight this tooth and nail. One thing Alba and co. might not have banked on is the loyal following beloved Honest Toddler has and the damage she is doing to her own brand by taking up this fight. Corporation vs. little mom blogger does not make an 'honest' company seem like a fair one. It feels very much like bullying, regardless of who is 'right.'
Honest Company claims to be trying to work with Honest Toddler, allowing them to use the name they are known for, for a year, after which time, it becomes wholly owned by Honest Company. That that is what Honest Company considers 'fair' is an indication of their real reason behind the battle. They don't want what's fair. They want the name Honest Toddler and all of the popularity that goes along with it. They want the amazing following one small mom blogger has single handedly created, not with lawyers or marketer or an e-commerce executive to "build something different," as Honest Company did. Honest Toddler built her following with heart and humour and her savvy use of social media. That's it, that's all. And that group of loyal followers has her back.
I have no idea how much if at all the negative publicity is hurting Honest Company, but the battle is building Honest Toddler's vocal supporters who are crying foul.
Ultimately it doesn't matter how this back and forth started or what was said in the past. What it comes down to, at its core, is that Honest Company, for whatever reason, wants to own the Honest Toddler name, and their reason for it is lame.
If ever there was a chance of me buying Alba's products, there is no chance now. And that's not just because she's trying to quash my favourite toddler on the Internet. It's because she appears to think I'm too stupid to differentiate the two companies. She seems to think I should be confused as to why my Dove Chocolate ice cream sandwich doesn't taste like soap.
Give me some credit. Give customers some credit. And leave Honest Toddler alone.
Written by Leslie Kennedy for The BabyPost.com
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