The squabble between the Osmond family's new "Always Kids" charity and the Muscular Dystrophy Association's longstanding "Jerry's Kids" has ended peacefully.
The Osmond Foundation and MDA settled a 1993 lawsuit last week over the similarity of the two names. The MDA will no longer oppose the Foundation's use of "Always Kids" if, in turn, the foundation agrees not to hold its nationally-televised "Always Kids" special within a month of the September Jerry Lewis Telethon. U.S. Chief Judge David Winder approved the settlement, dismissing the Osmond Foundation lawsuit against MDA."Always Kids" will be managed by the Children's Miracle Network, the non-profit company that runs the Osmonds' own telethon each year that benefits children's hospitals.
The Osmond Foundation has big plans for this new charity, seeking an internationally known sponsor and using popular National Football League quarterbacks as spokesmen, according to court records. In 1993, the Osmond Foundation offered Coca Cola the chance to sponsor the campaign for $4 million, according to court records. Stymied by the squabble over names, the project was delayed.
In 1994, the foundation made pitches to AT&T, Reebok and Burger King, this time with a $4.6 million price tag.
"Now that the suit has settled, the Osmond Foundation is launching its vast promotional plan. The Foundation proposes using quarterbacks Steve Young for a three-month promotion on self-esteem, Warren Moon for a similar promotion on vehicle child safety seats, Troy Aikman will talk about gun safety and John Elway will push immunization, according to court exhibits.
Court files offer intriguing insight into the advertising push that goes into national charity campaigns. The foundation pitched a variety of gimmicks to various sponsors. It suggested Coca-Cola offer an "Always Kids" 20-pack of canned Coke, containing "Always Kids" brochures and contests.
AT&T could encourage phone customers to donate a dollar to "Always Kids" with each phone payment. Customers would know they were helping kids by making a long distance call, "differentiating AT&T as the only long distance phone company that cares for kids," the proposal says.
Burger King could sell pop art posters of the quarterbacks for $1, giving all proceeds to "Always Kids." In addition, Burger King could offer quarterback collectors cups, making Burger King "the leading fast-food company that cares for kids," according to the foundation's proposal.
Children's hospitals can receive "Always Kids" brochures, news releases and class curriculums by paying $12,000 to the foundation, the foundation told several hospitals across the nation.
In 1993, MDA had filed a complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seeking to prevent the foundation from using "Always Kids" as a trademark. The foundation promptly asked the office to revoke the "Jerry's Kids" trademark and sued the MDA.