Mobile phone supplier Vodafone has lost a legal dispute over a clause in an advertising deal with Lucasfilm which will oblige the communications giant to rename itself "Yodafone".
The dispute has stemmed from a series of adverts for Vodafone which feature Yoda, the Jedi Master from the Star Wars films. The partnership with one of Hollywood’s most successful franchises was originally thought to have been a major coup for Vodafone. However two days after the first advert aired, Vodafone received a writ from Lucasfilm, insisting the company change its name to Yodafone "in accordance with clause 1.1.1.a. of our recent contract".
“I was flabbergasted” said Robert Jones, Vodafone’s chief legal adviser, who personally oversaw the signing of the deal. “As a global player in the communications industry, our brand is everything - so to be told that we had agreed to change it just didn’t make any sense. But there it was in large, bold type, for all to see on Page One. I must have read this document twenty times or more, but not once did I see that clause before today. I don’t know how it got past me.”
A number of people have criticised the decision to bring the aging Jedi Master out of retirement for a cynical corporate tie-in, but a spokesman for Yoda was pragmatic, saying “When 900 years you reach, look as good your pension pot will not.
“Just look at Iggy Pop.”