January 26, 2006

News & Opinion: Hershey Co. vs. Hershey the book

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 7:45 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Milton Hershey -- an almost universally recognized name, typically one that is printed in silver on a dark brown background. Yep. You know the one. The infamous Hershey bar, kisses and miniatures and of course, the town -- Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Some call him A Real Life Willy-Wonka but few know all the details behind his life story. So, without permission or sponsorship from the Hershey Company, Michael D'Antonio set out to tell the story behind the chocolate bar everyone knows. The book: Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams.
Prior to being published earlier this January, the book fell under a bit of fire from the Hershey Co. Hershey was concerned that "consumers might think Hershey authorized the book, the dust jacket of which also includes a Hershey's Kiss and two older advertising images". Apparently, the Hershey book provides a little more depth to Mr. Hershey than that obtained through a typical Hershey Co. visit. Accordingly, the book's publisher--Simon & Schuster, and booksellers have worked to ensure that customers do not believe that Hershey sponsored the book. This has included making a special sticker on the book cover that reads, "Neither authorized nor sponsored by the Hershey Company" and by copying the same quote into product pages.
You can check out a BusinessWeek review here or find out more information on the lawsuit here.
Biography or not, Mr. Hershey has left a lasting legacy -- chocolate bars and kisses.