Does Juan Valdez drink Costa Rica coffee? Since 1958 this fictional character, Juan Valdez, has been used in a hugely successfully advertising campaign to promote Columbia coffee. However in 1999 the Costa Rican Ambassador to the United States, Jaime Daremblum, spoke out during a speech saying, “Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee”.
This resulted in a major conflict that began to brew, as Costa Rican advertisers took advantage of the ‘free publicity’ and had the phrase published publicly in advertisements, and on printed ‘T’ Shirts. Even the actor, who formerly played the part of the original Juan Valdez, defended the statement saying that “Valdez” drank Costa Rican coffee.Then the Columbians “turned up the heat” by filing an injunction against the renowned Costa Rican coffee company, Café Britt, to prevent them from further using the phrase and by launching a US$1M lawsuit in 2006. Costa Rica filed a counter suit for US$200,000, claiming that the phrase was too ‘commonly used’ to represent any individuals personal ‘Intellectual Property Rights’. To add insult to injury, Costa Rica introduced a sworn and verified statement by a man named, Juan Valdez, who was a Costa Rican national, stating that he drinks Costa Rican coffee. Finally, in 2006, agreements between the two nations saw all charges dissolved.
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