USPS Wear 2: Still Silly, But in a Different Way

Sure, yesterday’s news that the U.S. Postal Service was entering into an agreement to create its own line of clothing seemed like an April Fool’s Day story come too early. But it was a great story.

Today, Dead Tree Edition clarified the situation.

We held our breath as we read through the piece — had we really blundered terribly on this one? Was the story made up by some bored 14 year old while he was waiting for Netflix to load?

Nope. Turns out the story IS different. If anything, it’s even goofier, which is saying something. Here’s the key paragraph:

“To clarify a press release issued recently, the Postal Service is not entering the apparel business. For a royalty, the Postal Service is licensing the words ‘Rain, Heat & Snow’ and other Postal Service trademarks for commercial use by a clothing manufacturer. By agreement, the manufacturer will be able to use these words and trademarks on clothing or clothing labels, and in advertisements, in ways approved by the Postal Service. Other than this licensing agreement, the Postal Service has no relationship with the manufacturer.

So rather than the USPS licensing its clothing designs to a company, it’s licensing the words “Rain, Heat & Snow,” which:

  1. Are not even the words traditionally associated with the Post Office. Those would be “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night.” (Admittedly that sentence would be a bit tough to get on a baseball cap.)
  2. They may indeed have trademarked the words, but who but diehard mail enthusiasts would know?
  3. There’s a company out there that is paying for three words that it could very easily use anyway by changing the order and ditching the &, or simply rephrasing.

Yeah, the media really got it wrong, all right. Yikes.


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