Did Tory Party really attempt a Love Island merchandise piggyback?

As the nation tuned into the Love Island final last night, the Tory party found its youth engagement efforts unceremoniously dumped over potential copyright infringement of the hit ITV reality series.

The Guardian has reported on Conservative party attempts to cash in on the popularity of the ITV2 series, Love Island by producing merchandise inspired by the show.

Theresa May’s party announced that it has developed special “Love Island water bottles” in the style of those used by contestants as a competition prize. While the show’s contestants own water bottles emblazoned with their own name, the Tory versions feature slogans such as “Don’t let Corbyn mug you off.”

Announcing its competition online ahead of the series finale last night, the party said: “Yeah that’s right – we’re giving away Love Island water bottles for the final (obviously).”

The giveaway prompted a number of media inquiries about trademark infringement that resulted in the Conservatives removing all references to Love Island from the competition, one designed to collect details of young people.

When approached by the media, an ITV spokesperson did not say whether the Tory party had been served a cease and desist in aligning itself with the show. The spokesperson did make it clear, however, that “official Love Island water bottles are only available via the Love Island app and shop.”

Love Island merchandise and brands associated with it have proved to be big money makers for producers of the show. It has even inspired the creation of a official Love Island board game that was released to coincide with the launch of the 2018 series, eight weeks ago.

The Labour supporting campaign group Momentum responded to the Tory move by saying: “Dear Tories, no matter how hard you graft, young people won’t want to couple up with you. All the best, younger voters.”

About Rachael Simpson-Jones

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