Saturday, December 6, 2014

Brand Names

In Rome, I was a little surprised to see someone in a Franklin & Marshall sweatshirt, and then astonished to see a storefront with the Franklin & Marshall name, which I knew only as the name of a well thought of college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The offspring explained that it is an Italian clothing company, the founder of which had discovered that the Franklin and Marshall name was not trademarked in the European Union. Apparently the clothiers pay an honorarium to the school, though not what a licensing agreement would bring in.

And then in Siena we saw a store called "Original Marines". Apart from an abstract Stars and Stripes in the sign, I saw nothing to call to mind the United States Marine Corps. The next day it occurred to me that this may be somebody's variation on the US brand "Old Navy".

Finally, at Schiphol, I found myself looking at a shelf of Penn State pretzels. Though I think of Pennsylvania State University in many connections, none directly has to do with pretzels. I suppose I could have bought a bag to find out whether they were up to Pennsylvanian standards, which are high.

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