Friday, February 27, 2009

«Would Have Been Better Than Stagecoaches»

Wells Fargo has a relatively new feature they call Card Design Studio. It allows you to choose and upload an image for your credit or debit card. So naturally, I uploaded an image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Here is a sample version of the card1:
Flying Spaghetti Monster debit card
I couldn't sneak it past them. It was not accepted. Too bad, that would have been a sweet card. Clearly, they have not been touched by His Noodly Appendages...

They have a these rules pertaining to what is and isn't acceptable:

  • For all images you must:
    • Own the image or have permission from the owner to use the image on your card
  • Images must not include:
    • Trademarks, advertising, or branding. Business cardholders are, however, permitted to use their own business's logo, name, or tag line.
    • Telephone numbers, URLs, account numbers, or email addresses
    • Imagery that features cartoon characters or public figures such as celebrities, musicians, athletes, or entertainers
    • Imagery or messaging that is violent, offensive, or anti-social; contains nudity or obscenity; or is political or religious in nature
    • Symbols representing money or other content that might result in confusion at the point of sale, or that might result in card fraud

I've bolded the one that I think it killed it. I don't see what the harm of religions images on a personal card would be, but whatever. Anyone have any new ideas for what should be on the card instead?

1: Sample version only. Not an actual card; not a valid card number or name.


  1. Maaaaan. I kept meaning to ask today. It was worth a shot.

  2. @ Monique: Yeah, it was worth a try. But now I don't know what I want on the card.

  3. They're discriminatin' the flyin' spaghetti and meatball dude!!

    That's ashame. [°¸°]

  4. @ Berni: I know. I'd claim religious discrimination, except they reject all religious images equally.

  5. The image must have been rejected by someone who knows about FSM. How about trying untill it's passed by someone who doesn't know?

  6. Seems like a stretch to assume it was because someone knew what the FSM was. In fact, nearly all of the rules seem like they could be broken if the person doing the review is a clueless drone. After all, it is a cartoon character that may be trademarked and which you may not have permission to use, and anything prominently displaying two big balls is probably going to make some people eye an obscenity rejection.

    Odds are good that boring bankers are expecting boring photos. Probably of family or pets or property. You'd probably have a lot more success if you submitted a picture of a real plate of spaghetti that looked a lot like the FSM.

  7. @ Anonymouses: I'm not going to risk re-submitting an image once it has been rejected. There's some scary fine-print in the TOS.

    If it's possibly trademarked, how do they know I didn't get permission? They never asked. After-all, it's under a creative commons license. I DO have permission. (I'm not selling the image.)

    I've already submitted a different image that was accepted. Unfortunately, it's not anything to do with the FSM. I'll have a post about it on Tuesday (March 17th, 2009).

  8. Make one with the Chuck Norris Fists: Accepted everywhere.

  9. @ Ricardo Cortés: I'm so tired of Chuck Norris...

  10. While such a card would be, to say the least, a thing of beauty, it's kind of good it was rejected, if it was rejected for the reason you suppose. In that case, this is just more public acceptance of pastafarianism as a religion.

  11. @ Anonymous: This is true. Pastafarianism isn't half as crazy as something like Scientology. I would love to see Pastafarianism become an official religion.

  12. all hail the fsm!!! be thee touched and healed by his noodly grace!I once was a clueless athiest, but now i have seen the light! drink of his sauce of goodness! eat of his meatballs of wisdom! Ramen

  13. How about a pirate fish? Still very recognisably pastafarian .....

  14. Your card got rejected because you didn't create it. Not because of religious discrimination. spaghetti is only good for eating.... and sometimes lolligags and shanagans like your playing with wells fargo. The very same company that's been around since the 1800's riding horses and still is not affected by 2009's economic change and most definately will not risk getting sued over fucking spaghetti.. and the dude that pressed the deny button is getting paid 13 dollars an hour to follow a handful of rules that spaghettimon fails miserable. but yea, you should write a fake check now and cash it at wells fargo then blog about it.
    -the mac who callz it how he seez it

  15. @ the mac: Due to the creative commons license that image is under, I have every right to use it in that way.

    This wasn't an issue of playing with Wells Fargo for the "lulz". I genuinely wanted the FSM on my personal card.

    But whatever... My Sea-Monkey design was accepted.

  16. @ Valpal: I'm not going to change banks over this. It's not that big of deal for me.

  17. Go for second best. Make some spaghetti, two meatballs, sauce. Snap a digital photo of the plate. Poof, you own it, no cartoon and someone has to be pretty clever to spot the religion.


  18. Maybe you can use the pirate-fish instead. What are the odds of them knowing? It's a fish with an eyepatch. Nothing "religious" about it.

    Also, you should try to get permission from Bobby. He'd let you do it. :)

  19. Did they actually _say_ why they refused it?

  20. @ Anonymous: No, they didn't say specifically why they denied it. All they did was send me an email saying "Unfortunately, the design you selected does not meet our Image Guidelines." then they listed the guidelines.

  21. My first impulse is they rejected it as a "cartoon character".

  22. Three things that came to my noodly mind while reading this: (1) Perhaps they did reject it based on copyright, which should be a surmountable issue; (2) Perhaps they did reject it based on the religion issue, which means that Visa and/or the issuing financial institution has just legitimized FSM using the "Miracle on 34th Street" postal service argument; (3) It would be interesting to see if one can get them to make a card with some simple and socially-saturated Christian symbol (a crucifix or a fish) and then claim they apply their rules unfairly and demand the FSM card be made for that reason. Threaten legal action while you're at it; and (4) Try a picture of the pirate fish. That seems simple enough.

    Did I say three things? The FSM must have just flown by and made an adjustment.

  23. @ Don Birren: (1) Indeed, due to the license, I have very right to use the image.

    (2) The "Miracle on 34th Street" argument was because the government was showing support for it. That's a bit different than a company showing support.

    (3) I think they'd deny the cross of fish as well. They have it right in their fine print that they can deny a design for any reason, or no reason at all. They have themselves covered so you can't threaten legal action. (I guess you could, but you wouldn't get anywhere with it.)

    (4) I've already submitted a different design (Sea-Monkeys) and it was accepted.

  24. According to the USA, Pastafarianism isn't a religion. Say that you have leagal rights to it and re-submit. Then take the bastards to court, isn't that what americans do?

  25. pfft they are all equally biased... I submitted an artwork made by me with 2 cartoon animals on it (a kitten licking a rabbit) If you want to see what image look at my deviant art page MidnightJackel (orange cat and blue rabbit images) and they rejected it... I honestly couldnt understand whether they thought it was sexual in nature or they thought I had stolen the image but it was certaintly neither... especailly when they accepted the first version I submitted with the same 2 characters but in a different position.

  26. I know this is a horribly old reply, and while that card would certainly fail from a religious (even mock-religious is religious) ground, would you not also fail for not having permission from whoever the original, non-Michaelangelo artist to use the image? It is non-commercial, so I do not really think they would care, but even the orphan art act won't really protect you.

  27. @ Adder: Actually, right from the official Flying Spaghetti Monster site that image is under a license that says "you're free to use the content but not sell it."

    In fact, you're encouraged to use it.


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