As this is the time period that the Teddy Bear & Friends' TOBY™ votes are being sent in, and they are uppermost in many bear collectors' (and artists'!!) minds, it is a curious coincidence that I've received several private emails in the past month. I supposed that they thought I'd know: I know a bit but wouldn't have been able to give such a complete reply as Mindy did.
They all ask the same basic question:
"X" artist has a nominated bear this year, but I've seen the TOBY logo in an auction/on a website/on a pamphlet, where it had no relationship or connection to their nominated work for 2008. They use a phrase like "I'm a TOBY Winner" for years afterwards; can they do that?"
I thought I pretty much had the parameters down for how any photo slicks that we're sent can be used but went to the source and wrote to Mindy: (figuring that we are always attracting new members who might like to know, and one questioner is a TT member)
From: Bobbie [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 7:21 PM
To: Mindy Kinsey
Can you give me a real short, quick answer on a TOBY question?
It's my understanding that the logo is to be used ONLY in relation with the nominated work, not as an 'adjective' for one's bear making skills.
I've had several private emails from different lists' members recently, when they see an 2008 photo slick being posted on a person's bear auction/blog/site, proclaiming the person as having "won the 2008 TOBY"; as if there was
1 - one (total) award,
2 - as if it was THE award, not the first of 2 steps/an 'Industry's Choice Award', and
3 - as if the award applied to their overall bear making SKILLS and not to one particular bear.
I remember info in the past with very specific rulings about hw we're allowed to use the award publication.....
How would you word a response?
And may I quote it on TeddyTalk and Thread Animals, as 2 questions came from members?
hgs - Bobbie
Mindy's succinct response:
Subject: RE: Clarification
Date: May 22, 2008 9:52:18 AM CDT
Happy to help. You may quote me.
The short version of the official guidelines for use of the TOBY mark/logo is:
- The mark (the acronym TOBY™) and the logo (the bear picture) can only be used with the specific bear (whether name or photo) that won.
- The award, TOBY Industry’s Choice Award OR TOBY Public’s Choice Award, must be specified.
- The year must be specified in Arabic numerals.
- The logo cannot be altered except the size and color.
So at this point, artists should state that they have won a 2008 TOBY Industry’s Choice Award for <name of bear>.
The article should be an “a" not “the" because more than one is awarded.
After the Public’s Choice Awards are presented, those winners can state that they have won either “a" 2008 Public’s Choice Award for <name of bear> or “the" Public’s Choice Award in their particular category for <name of bear>.
While it is technically incorrect according to our lawyers, we let slide the phrase “TOBY Award-winning artist."
Officially, the trademark TM is supposed to be added to every instance of the TOBY mark, but I am less than vigilant about that, too.
If TOBY is capitalized and used with “Award" (and preferably “Industry’s/Public’s Choice Award" ) we are usually satisfied.
That is, of course, advantageous for the artists, too.
It’s not very meaningful to the general public to note that one is a “Toby winner."
If any winners are uncertain as to the use of the mark and/or logo, they are welcome to request the official guidelines from me. We try to supply them to everyone every year, but it may have been overlooked on our end or theirs.
Thanks for asking.
Editor, Teddy Bear and Friends
PO Box 10545
Lancaster PA 17605-0545