Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Best Buy Has Permanently Lost My Business

Father Luke Strand of the Holy Family Parish in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, had an interesting idea a couple of years ago.  Take a black Volkswagen Beetle  and put a logo featuring the phrase "God Squad" on it.  Now that logo and the vehicle itself bear a striking similarity to the mobile service vehicles of Best Buy's service team, the Geek Squad but there is no mistaking the difference between the two.

The God Squad Car

The Geek Squad car.

Why did Father Luke do this?  To promote God, and hopefully get people engaged in conversation that would eventually lead to Christ.  A great idea that was not harming anyone, in my opinion.  Said Fellow priest Dan Janasik  in an interview with local news outlet the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"It's obviously not a Best Buy vehicle. When people see the car in public they usually laugh, and then it leads into lots of great conversations with strangers about faith and God."

So what did Best Buy do?  They had their corporate lawyers send a Cease-and-Desist letter to the priest threatening to sue him for copyright infringement.  Once again, the big corporation beats up and on the little people; in this case a Roman Catholic priest!

Was this really necessary?  Was Father Luke attempting in any way to portray himself as some sort of geek and attempting to take away business from Best Buy?  I personally don't think so.  This is the way Best Buy PR senior manager Paula Baldwin attempted to explain it: 
"This was a really difficult thing for us to do because we appreciate what Father Strand is trying to accomplish with his mission. But at the end of the day, it's bad precedent to let some groups violate our trademark while pursuing others."
So the people at Best Buy appreciated what Father Strand was trying to accomplish.  Get people interested in God and hopefully into a saving relationship with Christ!  But money won out and in the end Best Buy did what it set out to do.  It intimidated a Catholic priest into compliance with their  Cease-and-Desist letter and threats of a lawsuit. 

Best Buy may have won this battle, but they at least have one casualty from it in me.  I will never purchase anything from them again. 

Great job Best Buy.  Maybe now you can go after some high school kid's business of repairing neighborhood computers too!


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