As most of you know, I’m an avid fan of cartooning, satire, and the art – simply for the genuine fun that the industry provides. Master illustrator/satirists from Charles Schultz, Berkeley Breathed and Gary Trudeau to our local Brian Duffy have been staples of my required reading since I was… well, old enough to pick up a newspaper. And from a communications standpoint, I believe cartoons are a perfect tool — visual, simple, unique, entertaining, and educational.

But sometimes they’re a bit more…

Mother Goose and Grimm creator Mike Peters is being sued by the The Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers over a cartoon published last week poking fun at Columbian Crime and Columbian coffee. The federation alleges that Mike’s cartoon “damages the intellectual heritage.” They’re asking for US$20 million.

According to the report:

Peters apologized for having offended anyone in a letter that arrived at newspaper El Tiempo’s editor’s office,…

According to the cartoonist, the specific comic is part of a series of cartoons based on the fact that the inventor of potato crisp Pringles had his ashes buried in one of his invention’s package. Peters says he never intended to insult anyone.


Mike Peters has never had trouble owning up to his style of satire. If he were to insult The Federation, I’m sure he would have 1) been even more “in your face” about the quip, and 2) taken a stronger (guaranteed to be more humorous) stance against the claim.

$20 Million? Who doesn’t already know about Colombia’s heritage? hmmmm, but they do grow some great coffee.

Does the cartoon make YOU want to stop drinking Colombian coffee and switch to Chai Tea? (Ack) Does this kind of legal nonsense really need to plug up our already burdened system?

What say you?

Food for thought.

Keep Cooking (up more actionable communications)
Andrew B. Clark
-The Brand Chef

  1. Lawsuits will surge in 2009 as corporations scramble for bailouts.

  2. Well, hello “Anonymous.” Glad to have you stop by the kitchen!

    If what you say is true, the CEOs and Boards may need reevaluate where the choose to shop for bailouts.

    I hear Washington DC is having a “Going Out Of Business” clearance…

    Keep Cooking!
    Andrew B. Clark
    -The Brand Chef

  3. It comes down to judges that need to throw this stuff OUT!

  4. @justbrady — AMEN, to that! I’m not sure how it works in International courts, but I think a couple of black robes would be wise to just roll their eyes and walk on…

    Thanks for the comment – and welcome to my kitchen! Hope to see more of you ’round the table.

    Andrew B. Clark
    -The Brand Chef