TAMPA, FLA. — Terry Bollea, more widely known as wrestling star Hulk Hogan, has filed a lawsuit against Post Foods, L.L.C. for alleged unauthorized commercial misappropriation and false endorsement.
According to the lawsuit, filed May 20 in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida Tampa Division, Post Foods and its advertising agents have been using an animated wrestling character bearing the name and likeness of Mr. Bollea to promote Cocoa Pebbles cereal.
Mr. Bollea’s lawsuit alleges Post uses the name “Hulk Boulder” for the character’s name, which is the same name Mr. Bollea used early in his wresting career before becoming professionally known as Hulk Hogan in 1979.
The advertisements in question include several running on the Cartoon Network under the tag, “Cocoa Smashdown.” In each commercial, the Hulk Boulder character is shown wrestling Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble in the ring. Upon defeating Mr. Flintstone and Mr. Rubble, Mr. Boulder rewards himself with a bowl of cereal pulled from his championship belt while holding a box of Cocoa Pebbles. At this point, the lawsuit states Bam-Bam then comes in and beats up Mr. Boulder, showing him “humiliated and cracked into pieces with broken teeth, with the closing banner, ‘Little Pieces…BIG TASTE!’”
Mr. Bollea’s lawsuit said Post Foods never asked for his permission to use his likeness, even after bringing up the issue in August 2009.
Efforts by Milling & Baking News to reach Post Foods for comment were not returned.