The basic facts of the goldfish matter…

There has been a considerable amount of discussion in the press on the subject of Addison’s goldfish logo. For the record, the basic facts are as follows.

The goldfish has been our distinctive trademark since 1988, when it was developed for Addison by Michael Wolff.

Last month, British Gas launched a financial services brand called Goldfish, which uses images that are very similar to ours. This is the first step in a major initiative for British Gas which will lead to the creation of a brand “like Virgin”. Campaign refers to “a 30m launch marketing budget”.

Addison believes that the nature, size and scope of the British Gas campaign is detrimental to the distinctive character of the Addison trademark… Addison’s goldfish will be swamped.

The British Gas design was developed by Wolff Olins.

Both British Gas and Wolff Olins knew of Addison’s identity when the British Gas goldfish was adopted.

We believe that this action raises important legal and ethical questions. The legal issues are being pursued by our lawyers in the courts, with a trial date set for January. And the ethical questions are being debated throughout the design industry, particularly by those who have an interest in the integrity of corporate identities.

At this stage, it is not appropriate for me to say more. But I would like to thank the many clients, competitors and commentators in our industry who have taken the trouble to contact Addison to offer support and encouragement.

Steve Smith



London SE1

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