Atlanta comedian Ben Palmer launched his satirical City of Atlanta Facebook page last week, with more than 19,000 likes already.
But Atlanta city officials are now saying they want him to stop using the city’s official seal, according to a report by 11Alive.
The account parodies Atlanta news and events with posts like “We have invested 90 million dollars in a trolley system that will allow citizens to travel 10 whole blocks in a total of 3 hours.”
Another post says, “We take being poor very seriously. If you see or know of someone in or around the Atlanta area that is poor, please report it to the authorities immediately.”
According the 11Alive report, the city says their problem with the page is use of the official city seal, not the actual page.
“The Atlanta City Seal is protected as a registered trademark; it is the City’s brand. When people see our brand, they know that the material on which it appears is on behalf of, or recognized by, the Atlanta City Government,” a city spokesperson told 11Alive.
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Palmer has not said whether he will take down the page.
A recent post on the page made a sly reference to the issue. The post said, “If you make a satirical Facebook page mocking the city of Atlanta, you will be charged with a serious crime that is punishable up to 3-5 years in prison or be force to ride the trolley.”
Palmer’s page was cited by Atlanta Beltline, Inc. staff as an example of what can happen when someone uses a brand or product without permission.
ABI recently asked the creator of the Humans of the Atlanta Beltline Facebook page to not use their name because it is trademarked.