Chilean Honey Seller “Miel Gibson” Gets Copyrights Infringement From Mel Gibson


Chilean Yohanna Agurto opened a small business selling honey (in Spanish “miel”) called “Miel Gibson” and then received a cease and desist letter from the real Miel’s legal team.

The honey packaging also carried Miel’s image from when he played the Scottish warrior in Brave Heart. The slogan, however, is probably what pushed Mr Miel over the edge: “Our honey is only for the brave hearts”.

Teacher Agurto, 40, who is a single mother of four, became unemployed during the pandemic. Four months into lockdown, she came up with the audacious marketing strategy while scrolling through social media.

Like Isaac Newton when discovering the law of gravity after being hit by an apple, Agurto was hit by a photo of American actor Mel Gibson.

Stretching out her savings and with four children tired of eating honey, Agurto found an opportunity where many would have seen a problem.

She took the large stash of organic honey she had in the pantry and decided to sell it. Product at hand, the next step was coming up with a stinging marketing strategy.

Asking a graphic designer friend to sketch out a logo inspired by a scene from Braveheart, Agurto printed some labels at home, glued them onto glass jars, and started selling.

She advertised on social media and word of mouth and eventually built enough clientele to pay the family bills.

Almost if sniffing out the business’s success, Mel Gibson’s counsellors, an attorney firm from Los Angeles that represents many celebrities, emailed Agurto with the subject line: “Cease and Desist /Miel Gibson”.

According to Reuters, the letter said:

‘We are counsel to Mel Gibson,

‘It has come to my attention that you are illegally using Mr Gibson’s name and/or likeness and/or biography to market or sell honey products.”

She initially contemplated the possibility of it being a prank but, quickly, she understood that this was the moment she would have to truly prove her bravery: this was a real legal threat from the OG Miel Gibson.

Agurto said: ‘I realised I was up against Goliath’.

In a full state of panic, Agurto deleted the email account connected to the honey business just hoping the thing would go away. She said:

‘I was terribly anguished,

‘I thought I could end up facing fines. What would happen to my family, to my finances? I’m a single mother of four and they depend on me.”

Determined to fight, Agurto tweeted a pledge for OG Miel for permission to use his image. OG Miel does not appear to have replied, but thousands of people have.

Although the legal situation remains unclear, Miel Gibson’s Twitter account has removed OG Miel’s image and the “braveheart” slogan but have kept the name.