Johnnie Walker’s parent company Diageo has threatened legal action against the right-wing extremist group The Proud Boys, after seeing a video where the group’s merchandise bore a logo strikingly similar to the ‘striding man’ emblem.
The video, taken during a pro-gun demonstration in Virginia, showed a man holding up a t-shirt with the words ‘Proud Boys’ above a logo similar to Johnnie Walker’s famed symbol and the words ‘est. 2016’ – the year the political group was founded.
In 2016, Johnnie Walker unveiled a four-bottle limited release in commemoration of the Striding Man logo.
“We stand for inclusion and diversity and have a strong, consistent track record in promoting values of social justice and equality. This is a serious infringement of our intellectual property and we will take whatever action is required to protect the integrity of our brand,” said a Diageo spokesperson.
Originally designed by Tom Brown for John Walker & Sons in 1908, the ‘striding man’ logo first appeared on a bottle of whisky in December that year. The icon has been refreshed a number of times since it’s launch.