Apparently unhappy with an ad for Cocoa Pebbles in which a Hulkesque character gets his ass kicked by Bamm-Bamm Rubble, Hulk Hogan has sued the manufacturer for allegedly misappropriating his likeness.
In the ad, called "Cocoa Smashdown," a character identified as "Hulk Boulder" has no trouble defeating the out-of-shape and probably alcoholic duo of Fred and Barney in a wrestling match, only to then be pounded into submission (and fragments) by Bamm-Bamm the toddler. As the complaint accurately alleges, at the conclusion of the ad the Hulk-like figure "is shown humiliated and cracked into pieces with broken teeth, with the closing banner, 'Little Pieces . . . BIG TASTE!'"
Hogan complains that the company never sought or received his permission to use his likeness to promote the cereal (let alone to show him being beaten up by a child). He says he has been harmed by the "unauthorized and degrading depictions in the Cocoa Smashdown advertisements."
Although the character in the ad has a full head of flowing blonde hair – which Hogan no longer has – Hogan notes that the character is a wrestler, has a mustache, and goes by the name "Hulk Boulder." Although the last name is different, Hogan claims "Hulk Boulder" is in fact a name he used earlier in his career, until Vince McMahon made him get another one. (Hogan's real name is "Terry Bollea.")
It is probably coincidental that, as noted in the Tampa Tribune's report on the case, Hogan is marketing his own food products, including the "Hogan Energy" drink and a line of microwaveable items called "Hulkster Burgers," for which publicity might be desired. I would prefer to think that the Hulkster is more concerned that people would think he could be thrashed by an infant, even if it was the supernaturally strong Bamm-Bamm.
Link: Digital Journal
Link: Tampa Bay Online