Forwarded by Susan Bunting

Originally transcribed and posted by  Beth Chalecki

"Mounties Pay-as-You-Logo Plan"

"With apologies to the beaver, no Canadian symbol bestrides the world
so formidably as the Mountie, the red-serge-suited, wide-brim-hatted,
high-boot-shod constable of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
"But international renown for civilized crime-fighting, helped along by a
dandy outfit, has come at a price to the noble Mountie.  To the dismay of
the force, the distinctive caricature can be found on dolls, teddy bears,
T-shirts, ashtrays, beer mugs, key chains, and bibs -- and "to a large
extent in ways not compatible with our image," said Constable Tim
Cogan.
"As of April 1, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will attempt to
restrict the use of its "official marks" and image by licensing approved
merchandisers of Mountie paraphernalia.  In exchange for a 10% royalty,
the (preferably Canadian) entrepreneurs will have exclusive use of the
image or official RCMP logo in dozens of product categories.
"If we let it go loose in the marketplace," Cogan said, "the image will be
destroyed."
"The revenue will be paid to the Mounted Police Foundation to support
community policing, drug awareness programs and public relations
activities such as the annual RCMP Musical Ride tour, one of the few
remaining occasions when the Mounted Police are still mounted.  The
modern, vehicle-driving incarnation of the RCMP combines functions of
the FBI and the CIA in the United States, and also serves as the
provincial police everywhere but in Ontario and Quebec.
"The RCMP asserted that the trademark protection would extend to the
United States, comparing the licensing program to those successfully
and profitably enforced by professional sports franchises, the Olympic
Games, and the Walt Disney Co., which Cogan said "police themselves."
The person the Mounties always have in mind when they refer to
egregiously improper uses of their image is a professional wrestler from
Quebec named Jacques Rougeau, who has performed -- brutally and
underhandedly, unlike a real Mountie -- in an irregular scarlet tunic with
gold buttons.  That was before RCMP lawyers reportedly persuaded him
to change his act.
"A British beer manufacturer recently launched an ad campaign featuring
a character called "Malcolm the Mountie."  A letter from RCMP
headquarters was enough to stop that campaign in its tracks.  Then
there was a boomlet to name Vancouver's new professional basketball
team the Mounties, but negotiations between the force and the franchise
fell apart.  Among the stumbling blocks: The RCMP was chary of lending
its name to an organization with inevitable financial links to the tobacco
and beer industries.
"No Mounties were visible, unless in mufti, during a recent visit to
Toronto's Adults Only Video, an emporium recently described in the New
Yorker as "Satan's Blockbuster."  But a sales clerk confirmed that the
store carried "several" Mountie-oriented videos.  The packaging of one in
stock, "The Mountie," promised scenes of women wearing unbuttoned
red tunics, high boots, and little else.
"That's completely unacceptable," Constable Cogan declared.
"The crackdown comes at at time when the Mountie image, and a lot of
other Canadian stereotypes besides, have been appropriated wholesale
in a popular North American television series, "Due South," aired on CBS
and Canada's CTV network.
"Due South," an unusual U.S.-Canadian venture is a kind of "NYPD Blue"
for the "Murder, She Wrote" set.  It pairs a ramrod Mountie named Benton
Fraser, improbably posted to the Canadian consulate in Chicago, and a
sad-sack Italian-American cop named Ray Vecchio.
Constable Fraser, played by Canadian actor Paul Gross, crystallizes
many a Canadian stereotype along with solid Mountie values.  He goes
strictly by the book.  He is unfailingly fearless, nonviolent, high-minded,
and polite.  He never has a wrinkle in his outfit or on his brow.  And, to
judge by new commercials for the series, he slays the ladies with his
old-fashioned, jut-jawed charm.
"The RCMP had a little trouble with "Due South" at the outset -- it had
been launched last year, after all, without so much as a by-your-leave
from the force.  Fraser's uniform was all wrong, and some of his
technical feats were not according to the script real Mounties have to
follow.
"But now the force is cooperating, providing Fraser his never-creased
regulation uniform and vetting the scripts.  The RCMP loves everything
Benton Fraser stands for.  "If we had every member of the force
displaying his comportment, we'd be very happy," Cogan said.  "He's the
model Mountie."
"The Canadian news media have had predictable fun with the idea of
cracking down on Mountie tchotchke peddlers.  The Globe and Mail
wondered if the now-emboldened Mounties could also begin to correct
other offenses against Canada's good name, such as ticketing U.S.
meteorologists who make "disparaging references to the 'bitter Canadian
air mass.'"
"But the newspaper's editorial could not resist concluding on a serious
and patriotic note: "As an image of Canada we could do worse than
straight and true."


"NYPD Blue" for the "Murder, She Wrote" set?  Ouch!  Better take my
Geritol and go lie down.