Social media raises concern about Disney trademark

By Russell Contreras

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, May 9 2013 12:45 p.m. MDT

Not only are U.S.-born Latinos adopting it, but various underground and artistic non-Latino groups have begun to mark the Nov. 1-2 holidays through colorful celebrations, parades, exhibits and even mixed martial arts fights.

Lois Zamora, a University of Houston English professor who has studied the Day of the Dead, said Disney's interest shows how much this once obscure holiday has grown in the U.S. But she said the trademark attempt was odd.

"Disney doesn't quite get it," Zamora said. "It would be like copyrighting 'Christmas or 'Easter' or, for that matter, 'Halloween.'"

Graham Harvey, owner of the Thibodaux, La.-based Mathew Media group, said the Disney flap should be a reminder that all companies should have social media strategy as part of its promotions, or face the wrath in real time if any promotion is controversial.

"Any company or organization that wants to protect its brand needs to understand the powerful, viral nature of social media," he said. "A backlash can occur in the blink of an eye."

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