Religion • Most products labeled ‘Amish’ are not
Report: Most products labeled ‘Amish’ are not
By Melanie Eversley, USA TODAY
Most commercial products with the name "Amish" in their title have been created without the help of the people from whom the name is borrowed, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Experts and Amish people alike say it’s a good bet that if the word appears on a product, the Amish did not put it there, according to the news organization. The name is being used as a marketing tool almost exclusively at the hands of the non-Amish, the Post-Gazette reports.
"In a difficult economy, people feel like the Amish have answers to things that are troubling us," David Weaver-Zercher, a professor at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa., who studies the Amish, tells the paper.
People associate the word "Amish with good quality, simplicity and sustainability," Weaver-Zercher says.
The word has proven to be lucrative. In Lancaster County, Pa., it has been tacked onto the name of just about every hotel, according to the Post-Gazette. Tourism in the county, home to the nation’s oldest Amish community, brings in $1.8 billion annually, it reports.
Jerry Doerr, founder of Unker’s homeopathic pain relief company, says he renamed his product "Amish Origins," according to the Post-Gazette. He has no connection to the Amish, though he claims an Amish man developed the ointment.
Since the name change, Internet orders have tripled, Doerr tells the news organization. "We have almost gone viral."
But one lawyer says this practice could spell legal troubles under the federal Lanham Act, which prohibits false advertising, the paper says.
"If you want to buy a product because you think it’s related to the Amish and it’s not, the advertising is misleading you," the news organization quotes Doug Wood, a New York-based lawyer who specializes in advertising and media law, as saying.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:01 pm
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