The Boy Scouts of America protects its brand and trademarks.
We wouldn’t let a company use our red, white and blue fleur-de-lis or the phrase “Prepared. For Life.” without permission.
In that same vein, we should respect the rights of others to protect their trademarks.
That’s why the BSA is asking for help from packs, troops and crews to stop using the phrase “Fun With a Purpose” and remove it from promotional materials and unit websites.
The phrase, often used with Cub Scout-related activities, is a registered trademark owned by the publishers of the popular Highlights children’s magazine.
Don’t worry. Your unit isn’t in trouble or getting sued; the BSA doesn’t expect any legal action from Highlights. In fact, the BSA and the Highlights publishing company are working cooperatively on this effort.
But there are a few simple steps you should take to respect the Highlights company’s protected trademarks. Here are six do’s and don’ts you should share with your fellow adult leaders:
Six Do’s and Don’ts
- DO delete all instances of the phrase from your council or unit website. This includes uses of the phrase in text as well as graphics.
- DO use a different phrase in the future. Find a different phrase to promote your activities from now on.
- DON’T simply use a similar phrase. You cannot use a similar phrase, like “Fun and Purpose” or “Fun Has a Purpose.” It needs to be distinctively different, not just a variation.
- DON’T worry about materials already printed or distributed. In order to avoid waste, you don’t need to destroy hard-copy materials already printed. And you don’t need to collect copies already distributed. Just use a different phrase going forward.
- DO notify the BSA if you’re contacted by Highlights. If Highlights contacts you directly, be courteous and respectful (in the spirit of the Scout Law). Then notify the BSA of any communication you receive. Call the Member Care team at 972-580-2489.
- DO find other marketing ideas from the BSA. You can’t use “Fun With a Purpose” anymore, but you can find tons of great marketing materials at the BSA’s Marketing Toolbox.
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