X Factor pile legal pressure on Rhythmix despite public climb-down… supported by M&S, Talk Talk, Halfords, Google, Kellogg’s and Volkswagen
The corporate bullying which gave rise to this year’s Nirvana for Christmas Number One campaign is continuing behind the scenes, says the charity victimised by Simon Cowell and six massive businesses.
Despite a public climbdown, the X Factor has kept up attempts to steal the name of the Rhythmix organisation – and the immoral legal action is supported by Marks & Spencer, Talk Talk, Halfords, Google, Kellogg’s and Volkswagen.
In October it was revealed show producers knew the music charity owned the Rhythmix trademark when they decided to use it. The move spawned a campaign to have Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit pushed to Christmas number one as a visual protest against big-business bully-boys.
After a blaze of negative publicity the girl band contestants announced they’d change their name. But Cowell’s company is continuing to pursue ownership of the title through European courts.
And charity boss Mark Davyd says it’s because the X Factor and their supporters know the charity will run out of money and therefore lose the legal fight.
In an open letter to Cowell, Davyd says: “Despite writing repeatedly to your legal representatives asking that the public announcement of the name change be replicated by the actual action required (withdrawing the trademark application), Simco are still seeking to exclusively trademark the name Rhythmix.
“There can be only two reason for this. 1) Simco intend to change the name of the band back at some future date or 2) Simco and/or its legal representatives want to use their control of the identity to force the charity to accept terms and conditions before permitting the charity to continue to trade.
“Simco and your legal representatives are choosing not to respond to any of the formal letters sent to them. Why won’t they respond? Because the legal advice is that the Charity cannot afford to pursue Simco through the courts, so the best way to ‘win’ this matter is to not deal with it and wait for the charity’s money to run out.
“Bluntly, that legal advice is correct. This charity isn’t prepared to spend thousands of pounds forcing Simco to ‘do the right thing’. We won’t be sending you any more legal letters. We won’t be asking Simco any more times not to take our identity. We won’t write any more letters to you or to Simco asking that you or they cover the unjustified legal costs they have forced upon the Charity.”
Davyd says his organisation has already had to spend £8000 on legal fees, which is the equivalent of providing 120 hours of charitable services to kids in need – or just three seconds of advertising purchased by Marks & Spencer, Talk Talk, Halfords, Google, Kelloggs and Volkswagen.
He adds: “”Whether you eventually complete your trademark application or not, the Charity intends to continue to stage Rhythmix concerts, make Rhythmix recordings, and print the word Rhythmix on paper and t-shirts. We won’t ask your permission, and if you or your company seek to prevent the Charity in engaging in its normal activities we will simply notify the public of your actions and let them decide what should be done.
“The actions taken and the attitude displayed by Simco throughout this matter demonstrate a level of arrogance and lack of responsibility that we believe should concern you as the public face of the company. You can choose to take an interest in this matter or you can choose not to. Whatever you choose to do, the aim of this letter is to ensure that both you and the public are fully aware of the actions of your company.”
While Simco, producers TalkbackThames, broadcasters ITV and advertisers Marks & Spencer, Talk Talk, Halfords, Google, Kelloggs and Volkswagen are all raking in millions of pounds in profit, Rhythmix are now out of pocket while the big-business bullying continues. You can help by donating any amount.