Mercedes-Benz has reacted angrily to a new poster campaign for the
specialist van manufacturer, LDV, and has threatened to apply
immediately for an injunction to have the posters pulled down and
LDV, however, is standing by its advertising, through Simons Palmer,
which launched last week.
The poster shows the LDV logo with the statement, ‘We only make vans’,
positioned alongside the logos of three rival van manufacturers -
Mercedes, Ford and VW - under which the copy reads: ‘They also make
James Hodgson, a trademark specialist and the head of intellectual
property law for LDV’s law firm, Eversheds, said: ‘LDV’s advertisement
establishes plain fact and in no way contravenes the 1994 Trade Marks
This act permits the use of a third party trademark for the purpose of
comparative advertising, provided it is used ‘in accordance with honest
industrial and commercial practice’ and does not take unfair advantage
of the mark, or is detrimental to it.
A spokesman from Mercedes said: ‘We have registered our disapproval
through lawyers about LDV’s use of our trademark without permission.’
LDV has not received any complaint from Ford or Volkswagen.
Hodgson added: ‘Comparative advertising will become more and more
commonplace, as seen with the recent campaigns by Cellnet, Orange and
Vodafone, in which they each refer to their competitors’ rates and claim
to be less expensive - one of them must be right.’