Unilever donates money to CND after Lynx Peace logo complaints

Unilever will continue to use the peace logo in promotions for its new Lynx fragrance but is making an undisclosed donation to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) after the protest group slammed its “callous” use of the iconic symbol.

Video: Lynx Peace online video


The FMCG company said the “universally recognised symbol of peace” is a key part of its bid to raise awareness of peace globally, which forms part of the marketing campaign for its new “Peace” sub brand.

The campaign, which has seen 70ft peace signs tagged on various landmarks across the capital, was slammed by CND as being a “disingenuous”. CND general secretary Kate Hudson told The Independent earlier this week that the promotions are “a flagrant co-opting of decades of activism”.

Unilever defended its use of the logo and highlighted its commitment to promoting global peace through its work with the charity Peace One Day.

In a statement the company said: “In recognition of its historic link with the universal peace symbol, we are making a donation to CND’s charitable trust to help fund their non-campaigning peace education programme in schools. The Lynx campaign, supported by global organisation Peace Once Day, aims to raise awareness of peace internationally.”

The symbol was created in 1958 to support the CND group. The activists have deliberately not copyrighted the sign and consequently brands do not need permission to use it. The organisation does, however, ask for donations whenever the logo is used commercially.

CND welcomed the donation, hailing the efforts of “thousands” of supporters who have made the concerns about the logo’s use “impossible for Unilever to ignore”. it claims “thousands” of people have posted on both Lynx and CND’s Twitter and Facebook pages over the past week.

Hudson adds: ”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. 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.

”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. The fact that Unilever has acknowledged its mistake is to be welcomed, but this victory really is testament to the people power of the thousands who have rallied around CND: they have called foul play on this misappropriation of our name and symbol.”

Unilever’s donation echoes a similar move last summer when it moved to quell anger around a controversial Marmite advert. The company donated £18,000 to the RSPCA after some viewers said its latest advert for the spread trivialised the work of animal welfare agencies.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here