Don Henley accepts Duluth Trading Co.’s apology for pun

It’s not on Duluth Trading Co.’s main page, but if you go to the ‘about us’ section on their website, you’ll find an interesting apology to Don Henley.

“As many of you know,” reads the statement at that link, “Duluth prides itself on not taking itself too seriously and this culture is often seen in our advertising, which we try and keep fresh, interesting, and funny. Unfortunately, we pushed the advertising envelope too far and distributed an advertisement promoting our line of Henley shirts that invoked American recording artist Don Henley’s name without his permission.”

The statement refers to a 2014 e-mail advertisement headlined, “Don a henley and take it easy.” The Eagles frontman didn’t care for this pun – which refers too The band’s first hit (it’s not sung or written by Henley, but by bandmate Glenn Frey, actually) with a writing assist from Jackson Browne. But Henley sued the Wisconsin-based, Duluth-founded apparel company just the same. The suit has now been resolved with an apology and a donation to the Walden Woods Project.

Here’s the statement in full:

To our customers, friends, and Don Henley:

As many of you know, Duluth prides itself on not taking itself too seriously and this culture is often seen in our advertising, which we try and keep fresh, interesting, and funny. Unfortunately, we pushed the advertising envelope too far and distributed an advertisement promoting our line of Henley shirts that invoked American recording artist Don Henley’s name without his permission.

Mr. Henley has long been an advocate of artists’ rights and he brought his objections to our attention. We appreciate and respect what Mr. Henley has meant to music and we now see that our use of his name and an Eagles’ song title in our advertisement was inappropriate. For that we are deeply regretful and we apologize, not just to Mr. Henley, but to anyone else who took offense. We have learned a valuable lesson and thank Mr. Henley for helping us appreciate the importance that he and other artists place in their publicity rights.

We have, at Mr. Henley’s request, also made a monetary payment to be directed to the Walden Woods Project, in recognition of the 25th Anniversary of its founding, to resolve this matter.

Thank you.

Very truly yours,

DULUTH TRADING COMPANY