Kewpie is in hot water for its winged logo in Malaysia

January 20, 2013

By MASANOBU FURUYA/ Staff Writer

Kewpie Corp. will likely adopt a new Kewpie doll logo for its mayonnaise products in Malaysia--one without angel’s wings--after authorities there blasted the trademark as un-Islamic, sources said Jan. 18.

The use of an angel was considered to offend Muslims who abhor any sort of idol worship.

The Tokyo-based company began selling mayonnaise with the logo in October 2010 in Malaysia after a government-affiliated organization certified it complied with Islamic dietary guidelines.

Muslims are not permitted to eat foodstuff containing pork or alcohol.

But a government official who took charge of the certification process last August railed at the doll’s wings, saying a drawing of an angel is un-Islamic.

The company was told it had two years to fix the problem.

A spokesperson with Kewpie expressed bewilderment over the judgment.

“It surely is an angel, but we did not expect authorities to find fault with it,” the spokesperson said.

Kewpie plans to decide on a modified logo, probably later this year. The company is committed to maintaining a presence in Malaysia, a promising market with a growing population.

The Kewpie doll was created by American illustrator Rose O’Neill.

The Japanese company adopted it as its trademark in the 1920s.

By MASANOBU FURUYA/ Staff Writer
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The Kewpie doll logo used by Kewpie Corp., a leading manufacturer of mayonnaise (Provided by Kewpie Corp.)

The Kewpie doll logo used by Kewpie Corp., a leading manufacturer of mayonnaise (Provided by Kewpie Corp.)

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  • The Kewpie doll logo used by Kewpie Corp., a leading manufacturer of mayonnaise (Provided by Kewpie Corp.)

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