The Washington Post

Postal Service getting its way with Burger King

Neither snow, nor rain, nor the temptation of a Burger King breakfast will keep letter carriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. At least not if lawyers at the U.S. Postal Service have it their way.

The mail agency has reached a settlement with Burger King, after the fast food giant used the likeness of a letter carrier and the postal logo in a series of television ads promoting its new breakfast menu.

At issue is a TV ad featuring an actor wearing a letter carrier uniform with the Postal Service’s Sonic Eagle logo on his lapel.

“With pancakes and eggs on my plate, the mail has to wait,” the letter carrier sings in an ad.

A similar ad, seen above (or here) includes an actor portraying a letter carrier who hands over his delivery bag to a woman before marching off with a crowd in the direction of the nearest Burger King.

Any such statement or action — fictious or otherwise — causes heartburn for the Postal Service, which issued a cease and desist order to the chain asking it to stop airing the ads.

According to an article on a Postal Service news release site, the two sides negotiated an agreement permitting Burger King to use a uniform resembling the postal service blue shirt and shorts, but without the postal logo.

Spokespeople for Burger King didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Trademark violations are a big deal to USPS, which asks workers to alert lawyers if they see the Eagle Logo, their uniforms or other USPS tradermark being used in ads or other promotions that they think might be unauthorized.

Other government agencies are often portrayed in TV ads, most notably Transportation Security Agents, who have been mocked for their enhanced screening procedures.

Know of any other government agencies mocked in advertisements? What do you think of the settlement with Burger King? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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