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Brand Name Babies

Trademarks, a commercial intellectual property, are creeping deeper into the American culture and psyche. Once parents named their children after famous people such as George Washington, recently the trend has been growing towards famous trademarks!

The U.S. Social Security Administration database of popular names shows that in the year 2000, there were 353 babies named Lexus, 298 named Armani, 269 named Chanel, 164 named Nautica, 24 named Porsche and 21 named Loreal. Seven babies were named Delmonte, six were named Timberland, and five were named Guinness. There are even reports of two babies named ESPN, after the sports network, although those did not make the database.

Many of the names correspond with luxury products, suggesting that parents want to link their children with glamour and wealth. "We live in an era of the power of the brand name." says Pamela Redmond Satran, author of the baby-naming book Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana.

So how will brand owner's guard the image of their trademarks against dilution and tarnishment when those marks become personal names? Tiffany's has already experienced this issue as over the last few decades "Tiffany" has become and increasingly popular girl's name as it makes an association with the high-end store Tiffany's.

Conversely, what will happen the unfortunate who was named after a trademark that becomes infamous? Hopefully not too many parents named their sons Enron.



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