Sam Adams for mayor; brewer bothered by campaign

Thursday, October 25
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Boston brewers of Sam Adams beer got wind of campaign Web sites bearing their name in the mayoral race here and sent a letter to the people who registered the sites, saying would they please knock it off.

Trouble is, the candidate is named Sam Adams and has been long before the brew hit the market.

Sam Adams, the mild-mannered bicycle rider and candidate, is a far cry from the Boston Sam Adams, patriot, brewer, rabble-rouser and business flop of Revolutionary War times.

When Mayor Tom Potter said he wouldn't seek re-election last month, City Commissioner Sam Adams jumped into the nonpartisan the race. So far he's the only candidate.

Enterprising KEX radio hosts Mark Mason and Dave Anderson registered the Web addresses and, promising to give them to Adams if he discussed his political future on their show. Adams did.

The letter from Boston Beer Co. came to Anderson last week.

"Boston Beer has used the trademarks SAM ADAMS and SAMUEL ADAMS since 1984," said the letter, which asked Anderson to surrender the Web sites.

The radio hosts have their backs up and are broadcasting the sound of a listener pouring Sam Adams beer in the toilet.

The colonial Sam Adams, a second cousin to former president John Adams, did the same thing in his way. No business whiz, he inherited the brewery and flew it into the ground several years later.

Portland's Sam Adams is both amused and concerned. His campaign staff consulted lawyers Tuesday.

The slogan "Sam Adams for Portland Mayor" is already on his Web site ( and soon may grace yard signs and bumper stickers for the 2008 election.

"They say they've been using this trademark since 1984," Adams said. "I've been using it since 1963."

Boston Beer's Helen Bornemann said she didn't know there was a real Sam Adams running for mayor when she sent the letter.

The brewery has previously run "Sam Adams for President" marketing campaigns, albeit 200 years late, and she said she feared someone was ripping them off.

Bornemann said she's willing to discuss Adams' use of his name on his Web sites "probably for the length of the time the election is being held."


Information from: The Oregonian,

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