SUNDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2009
Community Trade Marks & Designs Ltd condemned for misleading the public
Class 46 thanks Aaron Wood for drawing its attention to an adjudication by the Advertising Standards Authority in the United Kingdom. This adjudication rules against one of the "so-called trade mark scammers", a company called Community Trade Marks & Designs Ltd of 7 Arlington Gardens, London W4 4EZ. The complaint, lodged by the Istituto dell Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria (IAP), was that
A direct mailing, for registering trade marks, was sent to companies and was headlined "European Trade marks and Designs". Text below stated "Register Community Trade marks". The mailing included details of a trade mark name and payment details. Text stated "Payment due to: ... Total to pay: 750,00 € ... Please pay the whole amount stated above within 10 days. Small print stated " ... This is not a bill. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated underneath unless you accept the offer ... This is an update fee for 2009 registration". The mailing also included an "International Payment Instruction".
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaint. It said: The ASA was concerned by CTMDs lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code clause 2.6 (Non-response). We reminded them of their obligations under the Code and told them to respond promptly in the future.
We noted the ad had the appearance of a bill and stated "Please pay the whole amount stated above within 10 days". We considered the overall impression of the ad was such that it implied it was an official request for payment. We noted that small print stated " ... This is not a bill. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated underneath unless you accept the offer ... "; that text was very small, however, and we nevertheless considered it contradicted the overall impression that the ad was an official request for payment. We considered the small print did not go far enough in removing that impression and the ad did not make sufficiently clear that it was a marketing communication. We concluded that the ad misleadingly implied that it was an official request for payment.
Posted by: Jeremy Phillips @ 20.59
Tags: Advertising Standards Authority, "trade mark scam" companies,