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LOL! Procter & Gamble wants to trademark LOL

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Procter & Gamble has applied to trademark acronyms that are common in text speak.

If successful, terms including "LOL" (Laugh Out Loud), "NBD" (No Big Deal) and even WTF (too rude to spell out here) could be used to market products.

The global household products company applied to use the acronyms in soap, detergents and air fresheners.

P&G registered the trademark applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office in April.

The products would be sold alongside well known brands such as Febreze, Fairy and Mr Clean.

It seems the firm believes that under thirty-fives can be persuaded to buy its products if they're branded with slang lifted from text speak.

And tech savvy millennials are an important potential consumer group for packaged goods companies.

Collectively, millennials (the group born around the turn of the millennium and often referred to as Generation Y) in the US alone, are expected to increase their annual spending to $1.4tr (£1.09tr) by 2020, according to the statistics portal Statista.

But P&G's applications have not yet been approved and are still "TBD" (To Be Decided).

The change in brand strategy may have come from activist investor, Nelson Peltz, who joined the P&G board in March.

Last September, he told CNBC that younger consumers do not want "one size fits all" brands but products that "they have an emotional attachment to".

Perhaps, these consumers - when faced with a pile of dirty dishes, unwashed socks and a grimy bathroom - already have just those words in mind.

The applications were first highlighted by Ad Age which pointed out that other brands, which might have wished to adopt the terms, are now faced with "FOMO" (that's "Fear of Missing Out" in case you didn't know).

The BBC has not been able to reach P&G for comment.

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  • Procter & Gamble

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