Cover yourself and your FMCG brand
When you start bulk manufacturing goods and starting to build brand identity, you need to tread more carefully with how you market your product and take advantage of pop culture phenomena, otherwise, you might receive a nasty cease and desist from the proprietor of the intellectual property (IP) you were using to market your product. You may be inadvertently breaching IP and infringing an existing trademark or copyright and can potentially get involved in unwanted court proceedings!
If you really do want to do something in tribute to a show, artist, celebrity, film or in other areas that you’re a fan of as part of your new marketing campaign, we suggest you get legal advice. Sometimes you can do it, sometimes you can’t, and it will be dependent on each case.
Sometimes, it’s better to contact the owner of the IP and try to do things the right way. You would be surprised at how flexible some of those companies or creatives are when they believe that the organisation behind the FMCG brand is willing to work with them in good faith especially if they are guided commercially – particularly where there is an opportunity to collaborate or provide a further offering e.g. licensing opportunities.