PR agency and bank disagree about identities

HFC Bank could be facing copyright action from PR agency Marbles over the bank’s Internet credit card launch of the same name last week.

Although the bank has registered the Marbles identity, in conjunction with design consultancy Wolff Olins, the PR agency is currently taking legal advice on pursuing copyright action for the use of a similar logo.

“We have taken all the necessary steps to register the name and the Marbles trademark in the financial services sector,” says a spokesman for HFC. “We will not be competing in the PR sector so there will be no conflict of interest,” he says.

According to Sue Beard, joint-managing director of the PR agency, “Their Internet presence is confusing and our businesses do overlap. We are involved in market research and database management, not just PR.”

“We will lose business as a result of this. If a financial services client needs a PR, they will not come to us now. We have already resigned the Freeserve business which is a partner with the bank,” she adds.

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