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Aston Martin Annoyed by Sexy Used Car Ad, Lawyers Up and Demands Image Take Down

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For a Britain-based carmaker, Aston Martin sure lacks a sense of humor – at least when it comes to fan-made ads, because as far as cars are concerned, the company showed its funny side by slapping its cherished winged logo on a Toyota iQ and naming it the Cygnet

Why are we telling you all this? Because we just received a letter from Lewis Silkin LLP, a law firm that represents Aston Martin, and which demands the takedown of an image/ad we shared on our site of a young lady posing on a kitchen bench with the tagline, "You know you're not the first. But do you really care?", for the brand's used car division, and which cloned an older BMW commercial.

We did not create the image but merely shared it after it circulated on the internet (i.e. on Twitter) to note and inform viewers that it was not made by Aston Martin. The letter talks about copyright infringement (not by us, by the creator of the ad) and that the "image itself brings the Aston Martin brand into disrepute and is defamatory of AML" (we seriously doubt that there's anything more defamatory to AM's history than the Cygnet).

In any case, here's the law firm's cookie-cutter letter, which will likely land in more email boxes today with different links to the posts:



"AN unauthorised copy of the Aston Martin ‘wings’ device appears in the bottom left hand corner of the image found at http://www.carscoops.com/2013/02/bmw-like-used-aston-martin-ad-is-not.html.  The image also uses without authorisation AML’s trade marks for the wings device and ASTON MARTIN (in the phrase ‘Aston Martin pre-owned’ and in the domain name www.used-astonmartin.com). [Editor's note: It say's 'Pre Owed' not 'pre-owned']

The image appears to be an advertisement for Aston Martin pre-owned cars but has not been authorised or approved by AML. For the avoidance of doubt, AML has never consented to the use of its name or ‘wings’ device or domain name in this image.

The image appears to be an advertisement for Aston Martin pre-owned cars but has not been authorised or approved by AML. For the avoidance of doubt, AML has never consented to the use of its name or ‘wings’ device or domain name in this image.

Accordingly, the reproduction of the ‘wings’ device in the image constitutes copyright infringement; and the use of the ASTON MARTIN name and ‘wings’ device trademarks constitute trade mark infringement; and the image itself brings the Aston Martin brand into disrepute and is defamatory of AML.

Given the seriousness of this matter we ask that you take down the infringing image immediately, both at the URL referred to above and anywhere else that it may appear on www.carscoops.com."

If you want our opinion, Aston Martin should have issued a statement saying that it has nothing to do with the ad and leave it there as far the media is concerned, especially since the image did not bad-mouth the brand. Handing out cease and decease letters to sites and possibly individuals who merely reported the story because "the image itself brings the Aston Martin brand into disrepute and is defamatory of AML" shows a lack of humor and understanding of how the internet works. At least, that's our two cents worth. Feel free to chip in your thoughts below.


PHOTO GALLERY

Aston-Martin-Cygnet-6Aston-Martin-Cygnet-4Aston-Martin-Cygnet-3Aston-Martin-Cygnet-2BMW-Ad-1[6]


17 Comments:

Alwin Hoogerdijk said... »February 27, 2013

Hah! I received the same email :
http://www.aston-martin.com/2013/02/27/look-what-i-found-in-my-inbox/

JohnCarscoop said... »February 27, 2013

Hi Alwin, I read your response and I couldn't agree more. AM is going after people and sites that informed viewers that the ad was not real. Go figure...

Alwin Hoogerdijk said... »February 27, 2013

Exactly. And what do they expect? Do you really think they can get that image removed from the entire internet? It's everywhere now...

adambravo said... »February 27, 2013

Perhaps Mr Silkin & co. should acquaint themselves with cases regarding parody (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1994-03-08/news/9403080207_1_copyright-law-supreme-court-high-court)

T-Cake said... »February 27, 2013

Aston is being a bunch of sissy-pansy-schoolgirls about the whole situation. And I agree with Carscoop - after putting the fabled "wings" on an iQ, you really don't have much of a foot to stand on where brand image is concerned.

soulsea said... »February 27, 2013

Thankfully that awesome picture now lives on as my desktop background ... and you can't have it back, I'm not done with it yet! :p

Tim Butcher said... »February 27, 2013

They say any advertising is good advertising and I thought it put AM in a good light. Showed they had a sense of humour 'til I read this and discovered they were not the authors

Lighten up Aston - your product is good - your attitude isn't.

ben nibohs said... »February 27, 2013

Aston martin doesn't do all that "take that or in your face" adverts, their ads are just...ads, people would've accused them for stealing bmw's ideas, and 2 aston doesn't want to ruin their image with whore advertising and 3 copyright is copyright, you can't do anything about it, if they don't like it you have to take it down, especially when its their right, and to be honest i "kinda" agree with what they're doing, that said, like alwin said, its the internet and it will be everywhere.

JohnCarscoop said... »February 27, 2013

Aston Martin may or may not have the right to pull down the image depending on where a site is based, and each country's laws. If you ask me, the smart thing to do would be to issue a press statement, and if it chooses so, have its media department contact websites and kindly ask for the pictures to be removed for so and so reasons, and if that didn't work in certain cases, then proceed with a law firm.

RobinP said... »February 27, 2013

They (AML) indeed lack a sense of humour and perception of how the internet works nowadays.
I'm lucky I didn't get one of those letters back when they introduced that cute Cygnet... I created this fake 007 movie ad –

Florin said... »February 28, 2013

While I do agree that these ads are not in line with the Aston Martin brand and I get that they are trying to protect their image, this is going too far.

Not only do they show that they don't understand how the internet works, but they come off as humourless a-holes.

I would have understood if they issued a statement, but DEMANDING that you take down the images ... OR ELSE?!? This in not is not even remotely funny.

And there I was thinking they had a sense of humour... after all they created the Cygnet.

Eddie said... »February 28, 2013

That's it, I'm no longer buying an Aston Martin. Porsche, here I come

Anonymous said... »March 02, 2013

HA! One of the reasons you get an Aston is because good looking women will flash you in the summertime. Ask me how I know...

- Vantage Owner

Adele Ulrich said... »March 03, 2013

To commenters below: Women are not property and hyper-sexual degradation of women is not going to attract them to you. Women are waking up to the fact that
they've been commodified and dehumanized, and are attracted to the
NEW masculinity. Compassion, respect, communication and nurturing = the
new paradigm. Men who subscribe to referring to models who are following
objectifying direction on shoots (doing their jobs) "whores," or
calling men (you are assuming that the administration at Aston Martin is male)
"sissy-pants" will not attract beautiful, exciting women to you. So
long as you find it insulting to call a man a woman (pussy, little bitch,
girlie, etc.), you will not attract a woman who has enough gong on to keep a
relationship interesting and alive. Wake up and find the strength to open to
the new masculinity. if not, you'll remain an early-adolescent boy
shooting spitballs and hurling insults at women. 1 billion women will be raped
or beaten in their lifetime (1 in 3). That is an atrocity. On Feb. 14, one
billion women and men who love them in 209 countries rose and danced to end
violence against women. We're still rising. We need men of strength as allies.
Man up! #sexismisnotsexy #1billionrising

avinyc said... »March 14, 2013

It's also considered a fair use exception under copyright law since these are news sites reporting on a fake ad.

Todd Johnston said... »March 14, 2013

They are just covering their asses. I'm sure that behind closed doors they are giving each other high fives! (Or whatever the Brits do)

Anonymous said... »March 18, 2013

I made it into a poster. It's framed in my garage. She greats me every morning and evening as I come and go. Honestly, this add puts a smile on my face and would make me buy a car. How is this bad publicity?

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