The Royal Wedding and IP: warm up that telly, brand owners told

"If you don't wear that silly dress", said
William, "I won't wear that silly uniform"
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the United Kingdom has a Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP).   This committee has published a short guide on how its codes control [should this read "tries to control"?] advertisements referring to Prince William's recently announced wedding -- an event which surprisingly doesn't seem to have its own website.  According to a short note in PLC, the guide ('CAP Copy Advice - Royal Ad-Etiquette')
"... highlights the more general rules, such as there should be no suggestion of endorsement by an individual without their consent (rule 6.1) [No endorsement, then. You can still say if has the blessing of the Queen and Prince Charles -- but not the Suffragan Bishop of Willesden]. It also sets out the rules which deal specifically with the Royal Family, for example: there should be no mention of members of the Royal Family without their consent (subject to certain exceptions) (rule 6.2), and marketers should not use the Royal Arms or emblems without permission (rule 3.52). As an example of what might be acceptable, CAP proposes "invite everyone round to watch the wedding and enjoy [product]" [The IPKat can just see Nike, Diesel, L’Oréal and others rushing to borrow this line.  Merpel adds, she can think of a number of brands that definitely won't be using it on the basis that, if you're enjoying them, you probably won't be simultaneously watching the Wedding on the telly -- but she's far too modest to name them on a family blog]. The guide may be useful to lawyers and advertising and marketing teams [indeed, it's a gift for bloggers]".
Royal Ad-Etiquette gives further and better particulars, and asks some probing questions: "will there be a national holiday? [for IP enthusiasts it already is a holiday -- it's the first day of the wonderful Fordham IP Conference. The Kat will be there] Who will design the dress? Is hat-wearing going to be mandatory across the British Isles? And most importantly as far as advertisers are concerned: can we refer to this happy event in our advertising?" There is some practical advice too:
"... members of the Royal Family should not normally be shown or mentioned in a marketing communication without their prior permission (rule 6.2) and the Royal Arms or Emblems must not be used without prior permission from the Lord Chamberlain’s office. References to a Royal Warrant should be checked with the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association (rule 3.52)".
The Lord Chamberlain's Office -- an institution which has
been mysteriously omitted from previous reviews of how
the intellectual property system is working in the UK
The IPKat is planning a bit of unendorsed Royal Wedding activity of his own.  On 8 February he is chairing a one-day conference, in Central London, on the Intellectual Property Aspects of the Royal Wedding.  This will cover not just advertising and endorsements but privacy and publicity issues, ambush marketing and a host of other topics.  The organisers, CLT, are threatening to give each registrant a commemorative hug mug.  If you want to receive registration details as soon as they become available, email the IPKat here with the subject heading 'Royals Wed' and he'll send you a link to the programme once it has been finalised and printed out [note: since he's expecting quite an influx of responses, he won't be acknowledging receipt: just assume your email has arrived safely if you don't get an 'Undeliverable' bounce-back].

Successful exploitation of IP: the Wedding of Queen Victoria here
The Royal Wedding and IP: warm up that telly, brand owners told The Royal Wedding and IP: warm up that telly, brand owners told Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. It was rather thoughtless to choose to hold the Royal Wedding on the date of Fordham Conference in NYC.I would think that Jeremy, AmeriKat and many other pillars of the British legal profession and judiciary will be at Fordham and will have to convey their regrets to the Royals. The prestige of the Royal Wedding invitation A-list will now be seriously tarnished and diluted.

  2. One hopes that the IPKat and AmeriKat will not run afoul of any purr-sonality or other purr-ogative rights that may be held by the future Princess Kat-e or Cat-herine, as she may be called.

    Hopefully, you will be senior users whose rights will be grandfathered - or mothered - as the case may be.

  3. I do think that this blog should paws before purr-miting any fur-ther im-purr-tinent comments.


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