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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

"Wholeness" of Character

If you see the image or name of a familiar character, whether real or fictitious, embedded in or associated with goods or services, would you be lured to make a purchase? The objective of character merchandizing is to ride on the reputation of a character to promote sales. Character merchanizing has been proven as a smart way to extract or derive value out of a recognized character.

For the real characters themselves or the authors of the original images, they have the exclusive rights and legitimate interests to merchandize their reputation or images. The laws worldwide recognize and protect their reputation or creativity as they are the result of their investment, whether financial or intellectual. Copycats would make colourable alterations, wanting to believe they are "original" and "creative" too.

Like many other consumers, I was attracted to character merchandizing particularly those fictitious cute ones of good character. But when I see evidence of earlier identical or strikingly similar names or images created by other authors, I would become disillusioned and get silly-love-songs moods. I hate copycats, not just because of their lack of creativity, but their lack of integrity.

Among the virtues that a person or a corporate should have, I believe in integrity ie "wholeness" of character. With integrity, a person or a corporate team can dream of his or their own vision and exercise leadership so that others would do things otherwise they would not do. And in accomplishing his or their mission via key activities, they would be morally compliant, and therefore legal!

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