Skip to main content

Unilever bows to pressure in CND symbol row

CORPORATE giant Unilever has caved in to pressure from peace campaigners to cough up a donation to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) for use of its iconic symbol.  

CND declared victory in its compensation battle on Monday evening — two days after the Star revealed the campaign was considering legal action. 

Unilever has used the CND logo to brand its new Lynx Peace range of deodorant, shampoo and body wash, claiming it was a “universal symbol of peace.”

But CND general secretary Kate Hudson was clear the company was “trading off our 56-year legacy.”

And, under pressure from the campaign’s supporters, the multinational has now made a donation to CND’s charitable trust to help fund their peace education programme in schools. 

Ms Hudson branded the U-turn a victory for people power. 

“We’re delighted that Unilever has apologised for the way in which our name and symbol have been used, but to be honest it’s no surprise that Unilever has decided to donate,” she said. 

“The past week has seen thousands of people taking to Twitter and Facebook to express their outrage and to urge Unilever to do the right thing.

“Our supporters really made it impossible for Unilever to ignore the complaints.”

Richard Maunders writes in the Star today how the symbol was created by activist Gerald Holtom at the campaign’s inception in 1958. 

“The motif’s significance was to give the embryonic peace movement in Britain an identity that could be easily recognised and copied,” he explains. 

“It was a stroke of genius, in simplicity and impact.”

The ownership row erupted after CND requested a donation for use of its symbol by Unilever for its new product range, launched in Britain with a £9 million advertising campaign last month. 

Unilever claimed no payment was needed because CND did not own copyright  — but helped rubbish their own argument by identifying the symbol as CND’s on Twitter. 

Following their climbdown, Ms Hudson said: “It’s positive that a global corporation like Unilever is promoting peace, even if it is for profit. 

“But we draw the line when a company directly uses our logo and history to sell its products.”


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 3,821
We need:£ 14,179
24 Days remaining
Donate today