Wolff slams Goldfish brand as ‘plagiarism’

Wolff Olins’ Goldfish branding for British Gas’s credit card has been attacked as “the epitome of plagiarism” by Michael Wolff for its similarity to Addison’s identity.

Wolff, who co-founded Wolff Olins and after leaving designed Addison’s goldfish marque, says of the similarity: “It’s a ridiculous thing to have done. It’s hard to believe it’s a mistake and even harder to believe it’s deliberate.”

Addison is taking legal advice on the Goldfish logo. “Addison’s brand gives definition in a highly competitive marketplace. Our kudos could be undermined if a similar image appears on a credit card,” says a consultancy spokesman.

Wolff Olins, which had not heard from Addison as Design Week went to press, is puzzled by the basis for legal action, says a spokeswoman.

The consultancy researched the use of a goldfish among other businesses and none of them were registered in the industry codes, she says.

Addison and Michael Wolff were both informed of the British Gas marque before the launch, the spokeswoman adds.

“It devalues what Steve [Smith, chairman of Addison] has got,” Wolff adds, and suggests that the consultancy will have to change its identity, which Wolff Olins should offer to design for free.

See Letters, page 13.

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