Two years ago, I wrote a story about Suzy Batiz and her very interesting company. She’s the creator of Poo-Pourri, the spray-before-you-go scented oil designed to cover up any bathroom odors. The company is probably best known for a viral video of a Scottish woman on a toilet, saying hilariously crude things. (Incidentally, we keep a bottle or two in the restrooms here at D Headquarters–and when one went missing recently, it caused quite the email-chain controversy.)
When I was working on that story, Batiz and her team were very open about a lot of things, including the company’s financials. At the time, they were very concerned, though, that if my story revealed too many trade secrets a larger company might sweep in and try to replicate their product — and their massive success.
Well, today I got word that Poo-Pourri has filed a lawsuit against AirWick, which is owned by international conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser. It seems Air Wick has a product line called V.I.Poo that is strikingly similar to Poo-Pourri, down to the label and marketing.
A statement from Batiz reads:
Poo-Pourri is a small woman-owned business with an entrepreneurial spirit. Its brand and product are beloved by many. We were saddened and shocked when we saw that global giant Reckitt Benckiser not only copied our toilet deodorizing product, but our packaging, advertising and trademark in an attempt to capitalize off of our brand equity and creativity. We want all of our loyal customers to know that VIPoo is not our product. We sued Reckitt Benckiser to protect our brand and our company.
I have no idea how these kinds of suits usually turn out. But seeing the product, it’s a clear rip-off. Whether or not it ends up being a costly mistake, it’s certainly…well, crappy.