Wednesday, September 26, 2007


They are the generation of children’s authors and illustrators who have grown old and lost their rights. They come from a time before J. K. Rowling, before Alcatraz-tight copyright laws and global merchandising, and as they near their dotage they have seen their beloved characters put to work advertising fizzy drinks, toilet paper and yeast spreads.

Earlier this week it was Michael Bond, bemoaning the fact that his creation, marmalade-loving Paddington Bear, was being used to advertise Marmite. Yesterday Raymond Briggs, author of The Snowman, joined Bond in complaining about the thousand unnatural uses that his character had been put to. The Snowman had suffered “crass exploitation” at the hands of marketing men hoping to “cast a charming glow over products which are so charmless”, Briggs, 73, said in a letter to The Times.
He said that “as a fellow sufferer (and beneficiary) of the commercial exploitation of a character”, he could sympathise with Bond.

Briggs complains that his iconic Snowman, with his soft curves and floppy felt hat, has been used to sell everything from fizzy drinks to fried chicken. “It is galling to find that the innocent character one has created for young children is being used to promote junk food and drink, and also to decorate the packaging of lavatory paper,” he said.

This story overnight from The Times.

No comments: