Showing posts with label false advertising. Show all posts
Showing posts with label false advertising. Show all posts

Friday, February 7, 2014

Canadian Olympic Committee Sues North Face for Misleading Customers

An Accused North Face Product
Canadian news is reporting that the Canadian Olympic Committee (the "COC") is suing apparel maker The North Face, alleging that it infringed upon the Olympic trademarks and attempted to mislead customers into believing that it had sponsored the games, when it hasn't.

The lawsuit, which was recently filed in British Columbia, formally alleges that the North Face sold jackets and bags adorned with the maple leaf and "RU/14", which the COC alleges is a reference to Russia and the 2014 Sochi Games, while others featured "2.7.14", an alleged reference to the date of this week's opening ceremonies.  Further, the lawsuit alleges that some of the items were identified with such names as "Men's Sochi Full Zip Hoodie."

The lawsuit claims that the COC had warned the North Face about its concerns on multiple occasions, but that the warnings went largely unheeded.  

The North Face apparently responded by saying:  "[W]e are not an official sponsor of the COC or Team Canada and never indicated we were.  We do not agree with the COC's claims and we are disappointed they have taken this action."

The COC has been accused of overzealously protecting its brand. For example, in 2004, the COC launched a high-profile battle to force the Olympia Pizza and Pasta Restaurant in Vancouver to remove signs that featured the Olympic rings and torch. The restaurant owner defied the committee's demand, and the signage apparently still remains in place today.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Does Donald Trump's Branding Empire Go Too Far?

Billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump is considered one of the most successful tycoons in America, particularly when it comes to branding and self-promotion.

Trump coined the quip "YOU'RE FIRED" on his hit network television show The Apprentice, which he unsuccessfully tried to trademark.

But, according to New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Trump went too far when branding his "Trump University," and committed outright fraud on those who invested in attending the costly seminars.

FoxNews is reporting that the real estate mogul's "Trump University" duped students into paying as much as $35,000 to attend the 3-day seminar, but quickly discovered it was a sham.

"Trump University engaged in deception at every stage of consumers' advancement through costly programs and caused real financial harm," Schneiderman said. "Trump University, with Donald Trump's knowledge and participation, relied on Trump's name recognition and celebrity status to take advantage of consumers who believed in the Trump brand."

According to official court papers, Schneiderman is suing the program, as well as Trump personally as the university chairman, and the former president of the university, in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.  He accuses them each of engaging in persistent fraud, illegal and deceptive conduct and violating federal state consumer protection laws.  The $40 million the suit demands would be distributed as restitution to consumers.

New York State Education Department officials had ordered Trump to change the name of his enterprise years ago, saying it lacked an education license and didn't meet the legal definitions of a university.  In 2011 it was renamed the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, but it has been repeatedly accused by consumers in several civil lawsuits of failing to fulfill its advertised claims.

True to form, Donald Trump shot back, denying the allegations and claiming the Attorney General's lawsuit is "politically motivated," and tantamount to "extortion."