What’s with the Umbrella…ella…ella?

I saw a commercial on tv the other day where a big umbrella was following people around. My first thought was that Citigroup had started a new ad campaign. But at the end of the commercial, it was revealed that the commercial was for Travelers Insurance.

Do you think these are confusingly similar?

citigroup_logotravelers-pending-logo

Well, it turns out that Citigroup owned Travelers from for a short time, but sold it in 2005.  In 2007, Travelers licensed the trademark rights to the umbrella and has been aggressively using it ever since.

I think Citigroup made a mistake by granting Travelers the right to use its umbrella.  Citigroup is permitting confusion and dilution.  First, I was confused because I thought the umbrella meant Travelers was Citigroup, and pretty soon I wont associate the umbrella with anything since it is no longer exclusively used by Citigroup.

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