The author of the book ”Broken Piano for President”, Patrick Wensink, was recently served with a cease and desist letter from no other than the whiskey brand Jack Daniel’s. The reason for this was that the design of Wensink’s book being almost an exact copy of the liquor company’s trademark label design. In the polite letter sent to the author by Jack Daniel’s attorney it is clearly stated that "We are certainly flattered by your affection for the brand, but while we can appreciate the pop culture appeal of Jack Daniel's, we also have to be diligent to ensure that the Jack Daniel's trademarks are used correctly." thus explaining that the cover design being a trademark violation that the company cannot allow.
However unpleasant legal quarrels of this kind may be to those concerned, Jack Daniels managed to get some great PR out of the controversy by the way that they handled the situation. As they were polite as well as complaisant in their letter, the company may have effectively managed to avert a dispute and in the making let people know that they’re a company that can be reasoned with.
As the book already had been printed, the company allowed the book to be sold out before the cover needed to be changed. As there is only a limited edition of the book with the liquor label inspired design out there, the book is rumored to become a collector’s item as there are only a few copies left in circulation.
Not only does the letter handle the situation in an extraordinary way, it is also in tune with the brand’s identity. Many Jack Daniel’s ads tell the story of its founder or a long-term employee. This approach has managed to successfully establish Jack Daniel's as a hospitable, personal and human brand that cares about their product and customers. The brand story explains that Jack Daniel’s is made by the everyday man and consumed by the everyday man, and the letter is most certainly written by one human to another in a warm, friendly and personal sentiment. Via Mashable