An elderly gentleman languishes lonely on the moon… what happens next depends whether you are watching the original John Lewis ad or the lower budget Aldi spoof.
The two adverts are a great example of the business models of the two companies. One company bringing us all that is new, from up to date technology to the latest in celebrity chef endorsed Christmas puddings. The other company taking those ideas and producing cheaper copycat versions more palatable to the pocket.
In October this year the Department for Business Innovation and Skills published a report which considered the case for granting businesses a civil injunctive power in relation to ‘copycat’ packaging.
Karen Edwards, Solicitor in our Commercial team explains, "Currently, problems with copycat branding are usually dealt with by trading standards under consumer protection legislation which prohibits commercial practices that cause the average consumer to take a different transactional decision."
The BIS report found that although most consumers of copycat products were happy with their purchases, their existence does cause a detriment for the brand owners who have spent their time and resources creating the original brand and that there was a real risk that this would inhibit future investment in quality, innovation and reputation.
It is hard to imagine a supermarket shelf without the various array of premium brands down to basic branding, and if the report’s findings do find their way into legislation it is unlikely that these various price banded products would disappear. But would be copycats would need to make more effort to differentiate between themselves and their competitors and in doing so may find that they establish a brand identity in their own right.
Our Commercial Team, based in Christchurch, also cover Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Karen or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.