Foundation under attack October 13, 2005

Bradman family slams biscuit deal

Cricinfo staff

The Bangalore-based Unibic stepped up the marketing on Monday of their Bradman Chocolate Chip Cookies, which were launched in March and named after the legendary batsman, with the blessing of the Bradman Foundation.

The first batch of biscuits had not left the production line before Bradman's family launched a scathing attack on the proposal. A statement issued on behalf of the family accused the Foundation of failing in its duty to safeguard Bradman's image. "Sir Donald is a loved and missed family member, not a brand name like Mickey Mouse," the statement said. "Sir Donald would be adamant in his opposition to this use of his name. So is his family." Before his death in 2001, Bradman was strict in protecting the commercial use of his name.

But the Foundation defended its decision, arguing that it had been signing licensing agreements for years. "In its operations, the Bradman Foundation has at all times gone to great lengths to preserve the good name and reputation of the person acknowledged as the world's greatest cricketer," the foundation said. "In 1992, Sir Donald Bradman authorised and encouraged the Bradman Foundation to embark upon a program of commercial use of his name to ensure the financial future and stability of the charitable organisation. The foundation jealously guards the use of the Bradman name and has taken court action on a number of occasions over unauthorised usage."

The Foundation admitted that its relationship with family members had been less than harmonious in recent years. "The Bradman Foundation has received from John Bradman [his son] a series of complaints about wide-ranging subjects since shortly after the death of his father in 2001. The foundation has endeavoured to deal with John Bradman in a co-operative and sensitive manner." Unibic said a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the biscuits would go to underprivileged children in India.

In 2000, John Howard, Australia's prime minister, changed the country's corporation law to prevent businesses falsely suggesting a connection to Bradman. The move came after a sex shop attempted to register the name "Erotica on Bradman".