After being taken to court over claims its cake is a knock-off of M&S’s Colin the Caterpillar, the German discounter said on Twitter that its Cuthbert the Caterpillar “needs the help of Curly, Clyde, Cecil, Charlie, Morris and Wiggles”, tagging Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO), J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY), Asda, WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC’s (LON:MRW), John Lewis Partnership’s Waitrose and Co-op.
While Waitrose replied “count us in”, M&S called for Aldi to “use your own character”.
Hey @AldiUK we love a charity idea (Colin’s been a BIG fundraiser for years). We just want you to use your own character. How about #kevinthecarrotcake ? That idea’s on us… and we promise we won’t do Keith ????
— M&S (@marksandspencer) April 20, 2021
The PR stunt by Aldi comes amid a sour fight over Colin the Caterpillar cake copyrights.
Hey @marksandspencer can Colin and Cuthbert be besties? We’re bringing back a limited edition Cuthbert and want to donate profits to cancer charities including your partners @macmillancancer & ours @teenagecancer. Let’s raise money for charity, not lawyers #caterpillarsforcancer.
— Aldi Stores UK (@AldiUK) April 20, 2021
M&S is claiming in the High Court that Aldi’s Cuthbert is a knock-off of its long-running Colin the Caterpillar, a cake that M&S has been selling in its shops since 2004.
“We want to protect Colin, Connie and our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value,” a spokesman for Marks & Spencer said, explaining why it wants Aldi to stop selling the Cuthbert range or anything similar to it in the future.
However, Aldi isn’t the only one to sell a ‘cousin’ of Colin, as Curly, Clyde, Cecil, Charlie, Morris and Wiggles can be bought in the aforementioned UK grocers.
“We deem M&S, and any other brand owner, to be correct to protect its innovation and sub-brands, something that we have been amazed that other brand owners have not been so disciplined about over the years,” analysts at house broker Shore Capital commented.
“And it is not as if the German Aldi discount supermarket does not have much form in this respect.
“Hence, whilst this is good banter of sorts, there is also a serious business protection point; maybe Aldi would like to introduce Wolfgang to the market and see how he does on the shelf-edge.”