And you thought Theraflu was a medicine for coughs and colds. Well, it's more than that now. Theraflu is also the name of the new single by rapper Kanye West, who carries on about his complicated love life, including his latest fling, Kim Kardashian, as well as ex-girlfriend Amber Rose and her new flame. At one point, he warns that he's "way too cold. I promise you’ll need some Theraflu."
The song is generating attention, not only due to his high profile, but also because he angered the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, when he says "someone tell PETA my mink is draggin’ on the floor." How did the animal-rights group respond? This way: "What’s draggin’ on the floor is Kanye’s reputation as a man with no empathy for animals or human beings," says PETA senior vp Dan Mathews.
Meanwhile, Novartis is also not pleased. The drugmaker sent us this statement: "Novartis is aware of a song recently released by rapper Kanye West, which contains references to Theraflu in its title, lyrics and artwork. Novartis Consumer Health in no way endorses or approves of the references or use of the image and likeness of Theraflu in this manner.”
What artwork? Besides using the name of the over-the-counter medication for his single, West also has a drawing of a Theraflu bottle front and center on his web site (see here). We asked if Novartis is pursuing litigation, but the spokeswoman did not answer that question. However, the wording of the statement suggests the drugmaker is clearly sending a signal about its trademark rights.
We are attempting to reach Kanye or one of his representatives for a comment and will update you accordingly. Meanwhile, if you go to his web site, you can listen to 'Theraflu.'