Procter and Gamble Tries to Trademark 'LOL,' 'WTF'; Millennials Say, WYD


Like so many storied consumer brands of the last century, Procter and Gamble—which makes Tide and many other name-brand household staples—wants to attract the elusive millennial, killer of mayo and so many other things. Their latest bid: Attempting to trademark “LOL,” “WTF,” “NBD,” and “FML.”

Ad Age reported on this attempt to distract millennials from weird no-brand brands, actually eco-friendly options, greenwashed options, and just plain vinegar in a spray bottle:

If you thought all those texting acronyms couldn’t be yanked out of the digital commons and trademarked, forget that. Procter & Gamble Co.has filed for trademarks on household and personal-care use of LOL, WTF, NBD and FML. FWIW, there’s no indication products bearing those names exist yet, and P&G doesn’t have trademark approval. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has sought clarifications from P&G, which has until January to respond.

“P&G has applied to use the four acronyms in liquid soap, dishwashing detergent, hard surface cleaners and air fresheners,” clarified CNBC, which is even more incredible than imagining, say, emoji-bedecked face masks.

“LOL,” I announce to an empty galley kitchen while spritzing away the scent of garbage forgotten over a weeklong summer getaway. “FML,” you mutter to yourself, while scrubbing out the grimy toilet. “WTF,” we all think to ourselves while washing plates with liquid soap and pondering the wreck of 20th century consumer society.

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