IPA quizzes French licensing company about Smiley claim

A company claiming to own the copyright to the ’Smiley’ logo has been asked to explain itself by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising after approaches to agencies which have used the logo in ads.

A company claiming to own the copyright to the ’Smiley’ logo has

been asked to explain itself by the Institute of Practitioners in

Advertising after approaches to agencies which have used the logo in

ads.



The IPA says the yellow logo is in common use and is asking the Smiley

Licensing Company to give details of its ownership claim. Simon Gallant,

the IPA’s consultant legal affairs director, said he had been called by

two agencies which had been approached. He has written to the company,

which is run by Franklin Loufrani, a French entrepreneur, and is waiting

for a response.



The logo was created in 1963 by the freelance artist, Harvey Ball, for a

US insurance company which wanted to run an in-house campaign to cheer

up its employees. He never established copyright for the symbol, which

was later acquired by Loufrani. He claims to have devised the logo while

working for a French newspaper in 1968.



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