Lumbee Tribe sues after name and logo used by beer distributor

An ad displayed at a convenience store in North Carolina features the name of the Lumbee Tribe, its logo and its slogan. Photo by Lumbee Tribe

The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina is suing Anheuser-Busch and a distributing company after its name and logo were used without authorization on beer advertisements.

The logo and tribal slogan "Heritage, pride and strength” appeared prominently on the ads, some of which were displayed at stores in Lumbee territory. The usage prompted outrage.

"As alcohol and drug abuse are often associated with Native American culture, the use of the Lumbee tribal brand and an image of a Native American dancer in an advertisement promoting an alcohol product is viewed as particularly offensive to Lumbee People," Chairman Harvey Godwin said in a June 9 statement.

North Carolina distributor R.A. Jeffreys told The Robesonian that it removed the ads that same day. But the tribe said it had to file the lawsuit because its trademarks were used without permission.

"Defendants’ unpermitted uses of the Lumbee Tribe OF NORTH CAROLINA & Design mark and HERITAGE, PRIDE & STRENGTH slogan mark in these displays creates the false impression that the Lumbee Tribe is affiliated, connected or associated with Defendants, or approves of Defendants’ products being sold under its logo and slogan," the June 14 complaint reads, a copy of which was posted by Turtle Talk.

Anheuser-Busch and RA Jeffreys have yet to respond to the suit.

Get the Story:
Budweiser co-opts a Native American tribe’s slogan and logo — and gets sued (The Influence 6/20)
Budweiser Faces Another Lawsuit Over Culturally Offensive Beer Ad (ThinkProgress 6/18)
RA Jeffreys apologizes for tribe-logo use (The Robesonian 6/16)
Lumbees of NC sue Anheuser-Busch over trademark use in Budweiser ads (The Charlotte News & Observer 6/15)

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