Threadbone Financial Services Ltd, owners of the instant insurance comparison website So Compare! were embroiled in what lawyers are describing as "Une Bataille Royale" [a battle royal] today after it emerged that a well-known competitor had lodged an objection to their latest online, television and print-media advertising campaign with the Dorset Financial Services Authority .
Featuring Dorset Counter-tenor Gino Castrato, the new face of So Compare!, the advertisement is said to infringe the copyrights of a company with a strikingly similar name in at least 12 respects including: concept, imagery, text, music, logos, typeface and bow-tie.
However Royston Binstock, Deputy Chair of the Threadbone Corporation and Chief Advisor to the Dorset Financial Services Authority [who has declined to recuse himself despite what some might see as a potential conflict of interest] has indicated that he thinks there is little chance of the Threadbone Corporation's wholly owned financial subsidiary receiving anything other than a strong commendation.
"On the one hand, cases like this are notoriously hard to prove: people come up with all sorts of ideas all the time and sometimes - no, I would say, often - coincidentally. A good idea is a good idea and it can occur to creative minds in the same way at the same time in a given marketing climate. So the grounds are already, shall we say, uncertain*. Secondly there is the matter of timing. Our rivals claim they have been running their campaign for years whilst ours launched only recently. This is as misleading as it is fallacious. Our campaign has also been running for years but in what market-testers call "the silent phase". Just because it hasn't been seen by the public doesn't mean it hasn't been around. Thirdly anyone scrutinising both campaigns closely will see that any similarities are occasional, superficial and unintentional. Next they will be accusing us of lifting the whole idea of insurance price comparison!. And finally, as advisor to the panel I will strongly advise that there is no case to be answered".
*later clarified and corrected to "wholly unfounded"
HAVE YOUR SAY:
In an unprecedented move, well-known opponents of Mr Binstock [and rumoured to be "no friends of Mrs Threadbone" either] have published a minority report dissenting from Mr Binstock's written opinion on the matter. They have recommended, and the panel has reluctantly agreed, to put the matter before the public and to invite "selected" lay persons to offer an opinion. In a statement issued from their head office - Mrs Amanda J Threadbone House - minority report's chief author Mina Writty-Rapporte said we have hammered out an agreement whereby anyone who agrees with Mr Binstock's view is warmly invited to write and inform us of the fact. Those who don't should stay at home, self-isolate and not discuss the matter or mix indoors or outdoors with any family member or friends until the matter is resolved and they have changed their minds. It's an honourable settlement in our view. Dorset Chief Constable Sir Rising Crimewave said that those under his command would not hesitate to enforce the rules as strictly as was necessary compatible with maintaining public fear*.
* later corrected to public order