Saturday December 31, 2016

All Cartoons Are Not Cartoon Characters™

My Credit Union offers the option to "design your own" image for credit cards. On Nov 14, I went to the site and plugged in my business card (sans text).


A day later, I received a "disapproved" notice:

The design/image contains or depicts copyrighted, trademarked or branded products and/or services. This may include registered logos, animated, cartoon or amusement park characters, vehicle names or logos. Trademarked or branded commercial products such as sporting equipment, soft drink or food companies or abbreviations, acronyms, and/or symbols.
Ahem. No, it does not.

I sent email to Customer Service. No response. I phoned customer service. I explained. This is my logo, used on my business cards and my website (which I own), since at least 1998. If you do an image search you find... me.

CS Rep said she'd look into it. She asked me to send her all supporting documentation by email.

Eventual response:

There are no cartoons allowed as a design on a card even if the design is a logo on your own personal website. I have checked with our card carrier and there are no exceptions.
Excuse me?

A "cartoon" is simply a drawing rather than a photograph. I looked at their "DYO" site. Nothing says "photos only". I looked at their image library. It includes cartoons (drawings). I looked at their FAQ. Nothing excludes "cartoons".

There is one bit, however:

An image may be rejected for the following:  
   Images that feature athletes, entertainers, celebrities, 
   musicians, or cartoon characters
Apparently the "card carrier" is interpreting "cartoon characters" as "anything drawn".

I wrote back:

The definition of "cartoon character", in the context of this bullet point, would include recognized (trademarked) characters, e.g. Snoopy, Garfield, Mickey Mouse, The Simpsons, Pokemon characters, etc.

Look up the definition

  1. one of the people or animals in an animated film.
  2. one of the people or animals in a comic strip.
Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers
Do a web search for "cartoon character". You will not find my cat.
I waited. On Dec 21, I received this note:
Happy Holidays Vicki,

Our VP Doreen has approved your logo and it will be shipped in the next 48-72 hours. Please allow 7-10 business days for the card to arrive.

The card arrived yesterday.

It can take perseverance, and it can be irritatingly frustrating, but eventually, sometimes, we win.


All Cartoons Are Not Cartoon Characters™ ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Sat, 31 Dec, 12:24 Pacific | «e»

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