Sony Pictures Consumer Products Inc. is attempting to pull the plug on at least one Albuquerque business, which makes “Breaking Bad” inspired bath salts.
Great Face and Body owners Keith and André West-Harrison, who sell their “Bathing Bad” bath salts, were informed by Sony to cease and desist on the “unauthorized use of intellectual property in connection with the television series titled ‘Breaking Bad.’ ”
“I had a talk with the director of consumer marketing at Sony … he was shaking me down for $250,000 to $1 million so they would bless the sale of a product that we don’t think they own the rights to,” Keith West-Harrison said.
Once West-Harrison said he could not pay that kind of money, an email from Sony’s licensing division said “please take down the unlicensed products,” he said.
Calls and emails by the Journal to Sony’s legal affairs representatives weren’t returned by press time.
West-Harrison said he made sure from the beginning of production that “Breaking Bad” knew and approved of their “cute, fun and relaxing” products. He said the company had multiple visits to Albuquerque Studios last January to show off the goods and make sure they had no concerns.
“The production ordered 450 bags to give out at the series wrap party and sent us photos to show how popular the products were,” he said. “We thought this was not going to be an issue, since we did research into the trademark that Sony owns.”
While Great Face and Body isn’t the only company to offer some sort of “Breaking Bad” inspired product, it is the only one that has been served with a cease and desist order as of Wednesday.
ABQ Trolley Co. co-owner Jesse Herron said he hadn’t received such a letter. The trolley company offers the popular “The BaD Tour.”
“When we started with the idea, we went up the proper channels to see what we could and couldn’t use,” Herron said. “We were told not to use the logo or call it ‘Breaking Bad’ or not to go to their set. Those were the only requirements we were told.”
Debbie Ball, owner of The Candy Lady, said she hadn’t received or heard anything from Sony Pictures Consumer Products Inc.
Ball sells blue rock candy that is similar to the blue methamphetamine featured on the show and, in fact, stood in for the meth for the first two seasons.
“It’s seems a little too late to do anything now,” she said. “They let it go on this long. If they wanted to put a stop to it, it should have been done more than two years ago when we all started making these products.”
Ball said she makes the candy to see the reactions from fans of the show.
“It’s part of popular culture,” she said. “It’s all in fun and the candy was made popular by the fans.”