Let’s hear it for the Naked Cowboy. There are new details since I posted about his lawsuit against Mars Inc., the maker of M&Ms. Although some of his claim against the company has been thrown out, the judge has ruled that the lawsuit can move forward.
A jury will decide if the Naked Cowboy can collect any money from the Mars Inc. for dressing a Blue M&M up to look like the Naked Cowboy and using the image in an ad campaign. The idea behind this lawsuit is that the Naked Cowboy has created a persona and should have been paid for the use of the image since the ad implies that the Naked Cowboy endorses Blue M&Ms.
The Naked Cowboy (aka Robert Burck) is a guy that dresses in nothing but underwear, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat while he plays the guitar in New York City’s Times Square. He’s a fixture. A couple years ago, I saw him when we were passing by in a taxi. You can’t miss him. He braves all kinds of weather.
Personally, I think that the Naked Cowboy has a point. He is a well-known figure in Manhattan and adds to Times Square’s personality. Also, he has appeared as the Naked Cowboy in various other venues.
Mars Inc. claims that the company is using the Naked Cowboy image as a parody. Huh? Isn’t that Blue M&M dressed like the Naked Cowboy? [see article] I still think the Naked Cowboy has a point. I’d say he better not be caught eating any blue M&Ms though.