Jessica Alba’s Honest Company is Trying to Bully Honest Toddler

[ 82 ] April 17, 2013 |

Honest Toddler

For the past year or so, there’s been a satirical account on Twitter called @HonestToddler, whose tweets are what you’d imagine every mischievous toddler thinks but can’t express. It’s complete hilarity because those of us who deal with toddlers regularly know how much they can be jerks (but they’re so cute so they can get away with it).

Honest Toddler gives us such gems as:

It’s genius and I am HERE for it.

Today, the Honest Toddler Facebook fan page posted:

Honest Toddler Honest Company

I honestly didn’t e’em know Jessica Alba had a company, let alone one called Honest Company. Apparently, what her company does is deliver monthly eco-friendly products to families with babies.

And they are threatening to sue a fake toddler on the web for being known as “Honest Toddler.” I have a couple of questions. And some, I will answer myself.

1. If the Honest Company interviewed Honest Toddler last year and ki-kied it up then, what changed to make them go “We don’t like this! DELETE DELETE DELETE!” I know what changed. Honest Toddler got more popular than their company and they’re butthurt about it. @HonestToddler has FIVE times as many Twitter followers than @Honest. TUCK IN YOUR SALTY, Honest Company! How about YOU be clever and you do better? Maybe then you wouldn’t feel threatened by a satirical toddler who makes us all laugh.

b. Is there really brand confusion between Honest Toddler and Honest Company? Are people REALLY out here thinking they’re associated? Related, “Honest” is such a general word that can it be trademarked at all? (I want my lawyer readers to answer this).

iii. Why doesn’t Honest Company try to partner with Honest Toddler, if they feel like it’s threatening to them? That would have been a win-win. Looks like SOMEONE never learned to share! Yes, the company clearly needs to go back to that week in kindergarten.

4a. Why did the company really go straight to the threats of legal action? Oh I know. Because a lot of people will buckle under that weight and after hearing that lawyers will get involved. And because Honest company lacks a sense of humor. AND they’re really feeling threatened.

Oprah Side Eye Gif

Well, you know. the Honest Company team DID get what they want here. More people know that the company exists now. So YAYYYY them. But will more people wanna patronize them? Nawl. All publicity isn’t good publicity and this one is terrible.

Honestly.

HONEST TODDLER FOREVER!!!

Update: Honest Toddler’s Bunmi Laditan spoke with the company and apparently, it was a “misunderstanding.” Ummm… yeah. That’s word for “we messed up and didn’t realize the whole internet would raise hell and people would threaten to quit us.” Ennehweighs, they’re now giving away a year’s worth of diapers to someone on the Honest Toddler Facebook page.

Well, good for them.

The moral of this story is that Goliath, don’t come for David because David might be small but he got peoples. Honest Toddler wins. JUICE BOXES FOR EVERYONE!

Update on July 28, 2013: Honest Company is back and it and showing that they’re absolute bullies. Bunmi Laditan, the genius behind Honest Toddler filed a trademark for the phrase months ago BEFORE this whole fiasco went down and she just got notice that Honest Company filed opposition to it. According to the Honest Toddler Facebook fan page:

“Long story short, I was led to believe that it was all a misunderstanding when I was asked to withdraw my “honest toddler” trademark which is why in good faith I held the giveaway but then received a notice that The Honest Company had opposed my trademark. 

FACT: I am more than willing to agreement to not make products like The Honest Company but I AM NOT wiling to cancel my trademark so they can license it back to me “for free.” That puts me in a very bad situation if they were to ever decide to revoke the license.

I find all of this absolutely ridiculous.”

I (and a lot of others) do too! I need Honest Company to go have a gahtdamb seat! I really hope this blows up in their faces.

Read Bunmi Laditan’s post on the timeline of this whole Honest Company saga if you want more details.

Here’s the official Honest Toddler response to this:

AGREED!

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Comments (82)

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  1. Nikki Bee (@nikkib1920) says:

    They really tried it. SHAME on them. Early naptime and no desserty for Honest Company.

    and your numbering is giving me life!!!

  2. CafeGirlsPress says:

    OK, I am HERE for the Oprah gif. How does that woman express so much shade with no words??

    I went and put my parka on coz Oprah Gif’s shade is chilly!! *bows down*

    Somebody needs to tell Jessica Alba that we Honestly don’t care.

    • Right….I mean I’ve learned so much from her Shade Expressions apparently I do them everyday according to my friends and co-workers. I even named one of my wigs Baby O…it completes the look.

  3. nichole says:

    Honest Tea was around before Jessica Alba’s company. Maybe the Tea should sue Jessica?

    Sounds like one of those lost “we should have thought of that” moments.

    • The first thing I thought of was Honest Tea too! If anything, they have a lawsuit against her.

      Maybe this lawsuit was a PR stunt on her part, since this twitter account is more popular than her mov…does she make movies?

    • Stephanie says:

      I just thought of that, too, as I’m sitting here sipping my honest tea.

    • Adrian Mansion says:

      I thought of tea too. They make juice boxes called honest kids. What about Honest Kitchen or Honest Foods….honestly!!

    • jay Garcia says:

      Honest tea… Honest company… What do they both have in common besides being “HONEST” they both are organic companies, honest tea is a company that sell natural organic eco friendly EDIBLES & LIQUID based product .. The Honest Co. is also an eco friendly all natural manufacture company in which specialize in organic baby and house hold products such as organic diapers organic baby wipes and much more baby related products as well as home essentials such as bathroom cleaners, glass cleaner, multi surface cleaner, bug spray, lip balms toilet bowl cleaners, from laundry detergant to Laundry pods and oxy boost and much more all the way to personal hygene products as tooth paste mouth wash cleansing soaps shampoo and body lotions, all organic …. I am a full time employee at THE HONEST COMPANY… Why would HONEST TEA sue jessica alba’s company? Take the term HONEST LIVING. How does one live an honest life? By Doing right caring for you environment and help those in need.. HONEST LIVING…

  4. Arter says:

    Companies always jump to lawsuits. Smh

    • midge says:

      It’s is because in order to maintain a trademark or copyright, companies have to prove that they “vigorously defend” said trademark. Often times this can lead to unpopular seeming decisions, but unfortunately they are necessary. It stinks, but I’m sure The Honest Company didn’t really WANT to go after The Honest Toddler, but their lawyers might have told them that they HAD to.

  5. Wiserlemming says:

    Honest Company is honestly acting like the self-important, egocentric, selfish child that its founder must be. What is with people these days? It reminds me of a quote I saw not too long ago. “I’m afraid of a world run by adults who were never spanked as children and got a trophy for participating.”

  6. JessieByrd says:

    I’ve seen this kind of thing before.

    I love my products from The Honest Company. And I really love HonestToddler. Both are great business that make life better for us mommies in their own special way. I’m guessing that it’s all a big misunderstanding and HonestToddler probably jumped the gun when they put Honest Co on blast like that. I bet it will all be cleared up shortly.

    • Luvvie says:

      This wasn’t a misunderstanding b/c how do you misunderstand being told that you need to delete your Twitter, Facebook and blog? Honest Company clearly jumped the gun and that is why they’re bending backwards to fix it.

      • Crystal says:

        Yeah, a misunderstanding…that’s why they are now offering a year supply of diapers. I think they were being bullies because they have more money to throw around. Wouldn’t be the first time…won’t be the last.

        Sure didn’t take long for them to backtrack though, lol!

        Glad you posed this article!!

      • JessieByrd says:

        My guess is that HonestToddler probably exaggerated in their status update on FB and none of those things were actually requested. Which is probably evidenced by the fact that the status update is now taken down from their news feed.

        I’m still on the side of both parties involved and I hope it makes both companies stronger and more collaborative in the end. I mean really, Honest Co and HonestToddler could be a match made in heaven.

        • Tina says:

          …Or, they really did ask for those things (seems pretty run-of-the-mill cease-and-desist to me) but then realized what bad juju this was for them, offered diapers, and HT graciously agreed to remove the status update in good faith.

        • janelfelice says:

          Do you work for the Honest Co. I’m not being facetious. Just an honest question.

          • LB says:

            I wondered the same thing. Sounds like an employee to me.

          • JessieByrd says:

            Nope. But I do think that the common first name was part of what led me to try out those products in the first place. And I’m ok with that. Like, for reals.

        • Joy says:

          Jessica, is that you?

        • Bunmi Laditan says:

          Writer behind Honest Toddler here- I didn’t exaggerate anything. I took it down because the company called and apologized. It felt like the right thing to do. I want to avoid a fight if possible because 1) WHY and 2) lawyers are expensive.

          They’ve been very gracious and I’m pretty confident we can work out something civil.

          • Luvvie says:

            1. WELP.

            b. Kudos for handling this as well as you did.

          • Bunmi Laditan says:

            Aww thank you. I do believe in treating people (and companies) with good faith. Their CEO Chris Gavigan (I probably butchered his last name) used to work with Healthy Child Healthy World…I knew of him through my work with Pregnancy Awareness Month so I know that these are people that do care, they’re not sharks. I think it gets complicated when people begin thinking like corporations…

            I need to step away from the computer. It’s been a LONG DAY. :)

          • JessieByrd says:

            Bunmi, you’re the best! Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s always nice when things get resolved and everyone’s happy.

          • LR says:

            Grace under fire- hopefully you were at least encouraged by all the love Honest Toddler got!

          • Anonya says:

            Aww shoo! Watchuknowabout HonestToddler being a 9ja?! Awesome, keep up the good work & funny bone!

    • LR says:

      Sounds suspiciously like an employee of the honest company.

    • Nikki Bee (@nikkib1920) says:

      HT jumped the gun?! Really? After Honest Co came at them A YEAR later?

      *Holland Taylor side eye gif here*

    • victoria says:

      this comment about misunderstanding sounds like its from jessica herself. shes not even good an actress grest to look at though. isnt it strange that these people are afforded the means to bully others such as honest toddler because we make them rich.

    • Naomi says:

      Nope they didn’t jump the gun. The Honest company is keeping at it and lying to the media about it. They even sent a letter to Darren Star telling him to withdraw his option for a t.v show of Honest Toddler. Trademarks should not have to maintain themselves by stomping on anyone, they should have to maintain themselves by having good products and services. I hope The Honest Toddler fights and wins and The Honest company has to eat it lawsuit with it’s childish tail between it’s legs.

  7. Tina says:

    I wonder if that year’s worth of diapers is coming out of the salary of whatever pea-brained employee came up with the genius idea of threatening legal action in the first place.

  8. Lauren says:

    If Ms. Alba was smart, she would be delighted Honest Toddler exists with any kind of possible link in people’s minds to he company brand. She should be paying Honest Toddler to help her withher social media strategy.

    #TeamHonestToddlerFTW

  9. Milaxx says:

    Jessica Alba is a Dlist celeb who makes her money as The Hollywood Reporter calls a mocktress. She shows up at awards shows and such but hasn’t made a movie in years. She created this company when she had her first child and became this sort of glamourous earth mother type. Of course she’s not going after Honest Tea, they likely have just as much if not more money than she does. She (or her company) thought this was just a lowly blogger. I’m glad the internet told her different.

  10. LisaAJK says:

    We should all go to the Honest Tea facebook or twitter and start tweeting about how awesome it is that they now have a baby product line! Bwahahahaha.

  11. Bunmi Laditan says:

    Thank you for the kind words. I don’t think Jessica Alba has anything to do with this as she’s a longtime Honest Toddler follower and even agreed to an interview via Twitter DM awhile back. She seems like a pretty normal, nice mom to me. I think I was dealing with one person at the company who didn’t loop in the rest. They’ve been very gracious since and called me almost immediately.

    I was told that I’d need to get rid of @Honest toddler (both Facebook and Twitter) and the blog and rename everything but it seems as if that won’t be happening now. I’m very grateful for the support. To me, the brand my blog are very different. I’m very pleased with how the conversations are going. The next step is that I’m being sent some documents…I don’t know. Frankly, today was exhausting. I’ve never hired a lawyer other than my immigration attorney when I moved to Canada (doubt he can help with this) and I really hope I don’t have to.

    • M says:

      I never got past the LSAT but I’m sure amongst Honest Toddler’s following someone can refer you to a good IP lawyer. Agree/sign nothing until you do so!

      Viva La Honest Toddler!

    • minacakes says:

      You are handling this very well. And you’ve gained a follower! Hope it all works out.

  12. Say what... says:

    I had a lot to say but then I saw the writer from honest toddler’s name is Bunmi and every other thought went out the window.

    A naija woman is behind honest toddler?! That’s awesome!

    • naijamodel says:

      I have no kids and read the HT allll the time – I had the SAME reaction as you when I found this out a couple weeks ago. She’s Canadian – but we all know what that name means lol. So cool!!

  13. Annette says:

    Well when I saw Honest Toddler I thought it was Jessica Alba’s company. They need to seriously change who is handling her company. Most people work it out without threatening and making it a win win situation. Honest was named after her daughter Honor.

    I don’t know if Honest Toddler did it to capitalize on Jessica’s company or not. I just don’t like how it was handled at all. Things like this happen all the time and it tells you about the person and company due to how they handle the situation. Just too much of a bully. You can’t trademark Honest just a bad decision to come out so aggressively. They should of looked over the situation carefully before going in with guns blazing.

  14. Bre says:

    i love when the internet wins. silly jessica alba. parents need their laughs.

  15. TeeNikki says:

    Honesty Toddler sounds like a 3 year old me and I’m here for all of it. I love that you handled the sass with class. Honest Toddler wins the internets!!!!

  16. Moni says:

    *sipping shadily on my Apple & Eve* Take that, you big meanies!

  17. Thanks for sharing such wonderful blog with us. Very helpful. Someone else also replied with good info.

  18. Sophie Neal says:

    It looks like Honest Company is at it again!
    http://tsdr.uspto.gov/caseviewer/pdf?caseId=85740533&docIndex=5#docIndex=5

    Notice of Opposition dated 5/21/2013. So after they acknowledged the “misunderstanding”, apparently it didn’t change their guiding principals.

    Shame on Honest Company.

  19. Ella says:

    Luvvie, I met you at BWBNYC. Love this synopsis. I follow HT and LOVE that baby. Today I saw something about this squabble (something has changed) and had to look it up. Thanks for giving the info!

  20. Donna Ranae says:

    I was just about to order diapers from the Honest Company later today but won’t be doing that now. How dare you come for the Honest Toddler…that’s my favorite toddler….like ever. And I’ve had two toddlers of my own. Jessica Alba just salty she aint had a job since her non-dancing in Honey. I mean what is it she does again besides be irrelevant for a living on yeah run after a Toddler that’s kicking her butt….wahhh wahhh wahhh!! Go take some acting classes and saddown somewhere.

  21. HLBB says:

    I’ve always found it ironic that Ms. Alba started a company called “Honest”, when she’s been lying about being an actress for all those years…

    There are many other brands that use the word “Honest”. In fact, a Toronto landmark is a discount retailer called Honest Ed’s; if that family wanted to sue for Trademark infringement, trust me…

    Alba & Co. have used the same tactics to promote their brand as her management did to promote her acing career. I suspect one will go the way of the other.

    They should have engaged the Honest Toddler for good PR…

  22. ambef says:

    What’s wrong with you people?! Are you even educated enough to understand that Jessica Alba very likely has NOTHING to do with this at all?! Why bash on her when it’s the company’s attorneys making waves?! As far as her acting, shes actually made quite a few movies in her career, and obviously is good at what she does or she wouldn’t still be around and making millions off her abilities! So she’s slowed down her career to take care of her children and create a natural line of baby products, so what! How many of you can say you’ve accomplished what she has?! Grow up!

    • M says:

      Are YOU educated? Did you bother to read any of the papers filed with Ms. Alba’s name all over? One cannot take credit when publicity is good then hide when PR calls them out. If in fact Ms. Alba’s employees are pressing forward without her approval (which is highly unlikely) then heads need to roll.

      Viva La Honest Toddler.

    • Examplification says:

      Jessica? Is that you?

  23. Honest Co. is Shady at Best! says:

    As a former customer of Honest Co., I can totally believe this story. Their customer service is shady at best. As a customer of 5 mos, I have tried all non-baby related products, and they are ok – no better or worse than others in the same category (though more expensive). Monthly shipments were too quick for my needs, so I wanted to hold off on them. There is no membership option to pause shipments, nor any option to cancel online. One cannot email to cancel, you must call. I cannot call from an acute care hospital floor to cancel my uppity membership, personal calls are frowned upon for good reason. I tried adjusting my credit card information so that the next charge would not process. Surprise, they just used my old information and charged me again. I find their practices completely dis-Honest and not at all customer friendly. And possibly illegal?

  24. Brie says:

    Poor Brian Lee. He’s the guy who talked hundreds of gullible investors out of something like $27 million to fund The Honest Company, no doubt promising that Jessica Alba’s name recognition alone would drive enough traffic to her website to practically ensure profitability. And now, that very same name recognition is making the story of Honest Company’s questionable behavior so high profile in the news. Stories of the company’s unscrupulous billing practices have been circulating for months. And now, after the woman who writes the Honest Toddler blog sent an application to copyright the name and discovered that Alba’s company wants to block it? Whoa. Not cool. The poor blogger just wants to sell a book with some of her blog entries and may even get a deal for a TV show. By all accounts, she started the blog long before Alba’s company was launched. The blog has NOTHING to do with selling pseudo-eco-friendly products. It’s a humorous take on how a precocious toddler might view the world that adults around him/her control. This has got to be one of the biggest PR blunders in the annals of American corporate history. Seriously, business professors at all major universities can start using Honest Company’s bullying tactics as an example of how NOT to conduct business, especially when you’re a floundering start-up selling to the same demographic as the blogging site. HONEST company? I’m gonna go with GONEST company.

  25. Susan says:

    I recently cancel all future orders with honest company for the way they have gone after honest toddler. The customer service rep started arguing with me about the whole trademark issue and that they have been around longer then honest toddler. What did it or me was when the honest company requested accounts be changed or else. Everything else just makes them look worse. They said they have a blog post with there side of the story and wanted to know what specific website I was getting my information from, theirs or honest toddlers. I just told her I was getting my info online. She also informed me that honest toddler is doing a trademark to sell or make baby products and that is why they are trying to stop it. At that point I just let her know that I was not going to support a company that demands people change accounts and we ended the call.

    • Good for you! I’m not a customer, but was considering trying them. However, ther’s no way we’ll be trying them now. If you’re looking for an alternative to HC, I highly suggest trying out California Baby (an organic, allergen-free line of soaps, lotions and other baby care products). It’s what we use and we’ll be sticking with them.

      As some one who heard of the Honest Toddler and the Honest Company at about the same time, I can say there was absolutely no confusion between the two and not once did I think they were any more related to each other than Honest Tea is to either. One was a hilarious blog that helped me laugh after a rough day with my own toddler. The other was a company started by (what I thought was) a well-meaning celeb-turned-mommy.

      This entire situation has turned me off of The Honest Company more than any unlikely confusion might have detered me. It’s nothing more than corporate bullying.

  26. daddy james says:

    I was looking for diaperd for our newborn and found HonCo and was about to sign up when I decided to read some reviews that lead me here to HonT (too funny). I won’t be using HonCo, regardless of their celebrity endorsement. Diapers.com is far cheaper anyway…

  27. Julie says:

    I knew about the Honest Company but I never signed up. I don’t have an interest in it but as far as your question about if it could be trademarked absolutely yes. It doesn’t matter what size a company is, they can not only register and trademark a name but if they do it before you, You’re basically screwed.

    When I was launching my baking business I had a name but I didn’t start the process of registering and trademarking it right away and then out of no where another person came and trademarked it for their company and I couldn’t do a thing about it even though my company was around longer.

    When I decided to change the name and register it I realized someone else had the new name I chose so I was faced with a deli ma; do I continue to register it even though someone else had the name or do I start over yet again? Being the goody goody that I was back then I decided against registering it so that person can continue using their name.
    Will I ever do that in the future? NO! I’ve been in business long enough to know that it’s a dog eat dog world and every person for themselves. The way I thought of the other person, they wouldn’t have thought about me. And there’s nothing wrong with that… it’s nothing personal it’s just business.

    • Erin says:

      I understand your point about the timing of the trademark, but I would think either TM would apply to the entire name, not simply one word in it. For example, you can trademark “Honest Company” or “Honest Toddler”, but not just “Honest”. How crazy would that be? “No, sir, I have a trademark on the name “Pampers Diapers” so you cannot use the word “diapers” in your company name.” That’s ridiculous!

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