The Virgin Group owning rights to the word "virgin" is a little bit like Christian Louboutin owning rights to the color red. But Richard Branson, founder and owner of the Virgin Group (as in Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, etc) has decided to assert control over the word "virgin," targeting an indie denim label called I Am Not A Virgin.
Peter Heron, founder of the eco-friendly I Am Not A Virgin, shot a video explaining the conundrum. "I just recently got some unexpected mail from Richard Branson and the Virgin Group," he states in the video, then produces the actual letter for an awesome (faux) dramatic reading.
Branson's main issue? That people will assume I Am Not A Virgin is in some way connected to his Virgin megabrand, causing "confusion and dilution" of the brand.
With a straight face, Heron asks the camera, "Richard, does that mean that people are going to be confused over extra-virgin olive oil in a shop window, as well?"
Good point. Heron also addresses Branson's kind suggestions for alternative names, including I Am Not Chaste and I Am Not Pure. Heron responds, "How about I call it 'I Am Not Made By Richard Branson'?"
Heron has owned the trademark on his brand name for three and a half years, during which time we assume no one mistook I Am Not A Virgin for Richard Branson's giant brand.
Watch Heron's earnest (yet pretty funny) video above and tell us: should the Virgin Group own the word "virgin"? Should I Am Not A Virgin have to change its name?