A merchandising company has now copyrighted all use of the word “strong” in response to the trend of the word becoming included in “post-tragedy branding.”
TRAGEDIE$ R’ US has filed an “ordinary-mark” trademark that gives them exclusive rights of “strong” when used in any goods related to major tragedies.
“I recognized that after anything bad would happen, clothing, bumper stickers, accessories, things like that, would be made with a city’s name with the word strong after it … and every time I would see all these things on TV, I would see dollar signs,” said the owner of TRAGEDIE$ R’ US.
The company has faced significant backlash from groups looking to use the word for fundraising purposes for survivors and their families affected by these events. Many have called it “disaster capitalism,” a term describing a situation in which an individual or organization profits off the suffering of others.
In response to these claims, the owner of the company had this to say: “Please … TV is making money off people’s suffering all the time, and drug companies, boy they make bank on disease, and how much profit do you think wars makes for the man!? I am just an average guy trying to support his family,” said the company owner.
Although other groups can no longer use the term “strong” in their branding, the company says it’s not opposed to its use for charitable awareness. TRAGEDIE$ R’ US has stated that they are willing to donate merchandise to those affected by future tragedies (if they have a large social media following and are willing to frequently post photos of themselves with the gear).
“It’s all about giving back to the community,” said the owner.
Merchandise has already been created with every major city’s name followed by “strong” in the unfortunate (well, fortunate for the company), event that tragedy strikes.
“You can’t plan these things; you always have to be ready,” said the eager
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The company has refused to comment,