Free gift design issue causes Ringo Sheena album delay

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Left: The card case originally planned to accompany the limited edition of Ringo Sheena’s remix album “Hyakuyaku no Cho.” is seen captured from the website of Universal Music LLC.
Right: The Help Mark tag produced by the Tokyo metropolitan government

The release of singer-songwriter Ringo Sheena’s new remix album will be postponed because a free gift offered with a limited edition CD resembles a tag for people who have hidden impediments, according to a press release published Tuesday by Universal Music LLC.

The gift, a card case, also had its design revised.

The case, originally offered with the limited edition release of the album “Hyakuyaku no Cho,” due for release on Nov. 30, initially featured a white cross and an apple on a red background. However, the Tokyo metropolitan government and others pointed out similarities with the Help Mark, a tag worn by people who may need assistance due to veiled conditions which could be serious but not easily recognizable. The tag is produced and distributed by the Tokyo government, which also owns its trademark.

The company published the press release on its website, which said, “We sincerely apologize for causing concern and displeasure to users of the Help Mark and those who work hard to promote it.”