• Rampant Rabbit Not Seen In Sex And The City

    Sex And The City Rabbit Vibrator bought in New York A throwaway line -- "The Rampant Rabbit become known as the world's favourite sex toy after it featured in TV's Sex In The City" -- at the end of an Evening Standard report about a spat between Germaine Greer and the makers of the dire rabbit fever movie makes me want to set the record straight about rabbit vibrators - Rampant or otherwise.

    A "rabbit" is a type of vibrator that typically has rotating shaft filled with plastic beads or metal balls, and, most importantly, a clitoral stimulator with rabbit ears that vibrate, usually to orgasmic effect.

    There are many types of rabbit vibrator - dual speed, multi-speed, multi-pattern, multi-coloured, waterproof, the lot.


    The phrase "Rampant Rabbit", when used to describe a vibrator, is a registered trademark of Ann Summers.

    Only Ann Summers can sell a vibrator called a "Rampant Rabbit", but there is nothing about the "Rampant Rabbit" vibrator per se that makes it special. It's a pretty, pink two-speed vibrator that's very similar to Lovehoney's Jessica Rabbit or Pretty Pink Rabbit Vibrator.

    Ann Summers registered the words "Rampant Rabbit" as a trademark back in 2003. Soon afterwards, its lawyers wrote to companies that were selling rabbit vibrators under the name "Rampant Rabbit" to tell them to cease and desist, and swear never to do it again. And to pay a few hundred pounds to cover their clients' legal fees. Fair enough.

    Most were doing so under the impression that "Rampant Rabbit" was a generic term for "rabbit vibrator". Ann Summers's lawyers put them straight on that score.

    It's wrong to use the term "Rampant Rabbit" when you're talking generally about "rabbit vibrators". When you use the term "Rampant Rabbit", you're talking specifically about the model sold by Ann Summers.

    Sex And The City rabbit vibrator So what's this in The Evening Standard about "The Rampant Rabbit [becoming] known as the world's favourite sex toy after it featured in TV's Sex In The City"?

    [Note to sub: the programme is called Sex And The City]

    Did Sex And The City feature a "Rampant Rabbit"? No. It featured this rabbit vibrator.

    The famous Season 1 episode The Turtle and the Hare, in which Miranda buys Charlotte a rabbit, was first broadcast in 1998, some 5 years before the Ann Summers "Rampant Rabbit" trademark was registered.

    It's easy to spot the difference in the programme, because they buy it in a sex store in New York (not a branch of Ann Summers. D'oh!) and because you can see the wired controller (the "Rampant Rabbit" has a controller built into its base).

    So at the same time as rightfully beating up online stores for selling generic rabbits under the name "Rampant Rabbit", Ann Summers is happy to let journalists use "Rampant Rabbit" as a term that's synonymous with "rabbit vibrators" - even when it's clear than the product being talked about is definitely not a "Rampant Rabbit."

    Either, the Rabbit Rampant is a specific product, sold exclusively by Ann Summers, and in which case - all journalists please take note - wasn't featured in Sex And The City.

    Or it is a generic term for a rabbit-style vibrator, in which case, in the style of escalator, the trademark has become genericized.

    You can't have it both ways, but you've got to admire them for trying.

    Comments (1)

    • WandA: May 26, 2010 15:38
      Journalism. Can't get the staff these days. Look at how poor science reporting is in the mainstream to see how bad it gets.

      Calorific intake by mice varies by time of day = A full English is good for you! Or there abouts.

      The journos like to tell you that with increasing pressures on time and increased stress more mistakes are being made, probably, plenty are also super lazy as you can often find the correction to their error in 5mins on google. Also some are a cocky bunch... see the simple spelling mistake you spoke about!

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