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Mondelez Took Legal Action Against Rival Tony’s Chocolonely

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Global confectionary producer Mondelez has moved to protect its purple packaging by issuing a lawsuit against independent rival Tony’s Chocolonely. It came after the former company began mimicking competitor brand packaging in a campaign to highlight child labor practices within cocoa farming.

The campaign from Dutch-based Tony’s, released in Germany and Austria, saw it adopt similar packaging to chocolate brands including Mondelez’ Milka as well as Twix, KitKat and Ferrero Roche which are owned by Mars, Nestle and Ferrero respectively.

Highlighting the legal injunction taken by Mondelez [which also owns Cadbury and Toblerone], a LinkedIn post from Tony’s showcased a picture with a bar of chocolate entirely in grey with the statement and an arrow pointing to it which read “not purple”. Alongside were the other three examples of packaging from the campaign that continued to use the rival brand colors.

“A competitor has now obtained an injunction in court. Whilst Tony’s is appealing this injunction it is required to comply in the meantime by removing all Swiss purple bars and images from the market,” said a spokesman for Tony’s

“We’ve had to change our bar but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop raising awareness around the biggest problems in cocoa, which include lack of living income, child exploitation and deforestation,” they added.

According to the U.S Department of Labor, and cited by Tony’s, 1.56 million children are involved in child labor in Ghana + Côte d’Ivoire.

A spokesperson for Mondelez confirmed that they had issued an injunction around trademark infringement.

“As a matter of practice, to protect the values of our brands, which we have worked hard to build over hundreds of years, we express our concerns to third parties when they are using a protected brand element,” they added.

Mondelez long running trademark protection of purple

This is not the first time that Mondelez has fought to protect the use of purple on its packaging. The company fought a long-running legal battle in the U.K. with Nestle when the latter’s hazelnut and caramel chocolate called “the Purple One” and the Quality Street box decoration was threatened by the trademark restrictions.

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