Look what I found in my Inbox…

Remember my post from a few days ago, debunking the fake Aston Martin ad that is currently going viral on Facebook and Twitter?
Well, it looks like Aston Martin Lagonda doesn’t appreciate my help….

Just found this in my inbox, an email from Lewis Silkin LLP, apparently acting as Aston Martin Lagonda’s trademark and copyright lawyers:

Subject: Aston Martin – Intellectual Property Rights

Dear Sirs

URGENT – IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

We act for Aston Martin Lagonda Limited (‘AML’), the world famous car maker.

AML is the copyright owner of the famous Aston Martin ‘wings’ device which can be seen throughout the Aston Martin website (see http://www.astonmartin.com/) and on its vehicles. AML is also the proprietor of various trade marks for ‘ASTON MARTIN’ and the ‘wings’ device (for example, the wings logo is a registered European Community trade mark EU008367823 and the Aston Martin name is a registered European Community trade mark EU008367815). AML is also the operator of the website www.used-astonmartin.com.

AN unauthorised copy of the Aston Martin ‘wings’ device appears in the bottom left hand corner of the image found at http://www.aston-martin.com/2013/02/24/ad-for-used-aston-martins-fake-or-real/. 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).

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.aston-martin.com.

Yours faithfully

LEWIS SILKIN LLP

Wow… just wow…
Anyway, this is how I responded:

Hi Mr. Ross,

I think there is a misunderstanding here.
FYI: I am a customer of AML and owner of 2 Aston Martins myself. I am a huge fan of Aston Martin and the brand. In my spare time, I run the aston-martin.com news blog, with permission from AML itself. I would never create or write anything to harm AML or the Aston Martin brand.

I did not create or distribute this image. I found this image on Twitter for the first time last Saturday and again on Sunday. Immediately concluding that this could never be a real Aston Martin advertisement, I decided to write about it on my blog, telling the world that this advertisement is NOT a real Aston Martin ad, but just a photoshopped fake ad.
Since then, I have been telling everyone who is spreading this image on Facebook and Twitter that this in fact not a real ad created by Aston Martin, referring people to my blog post.

I have removed the image from my site now, but I must say that I am disappointed that after helping AML to debunk this hoax, your letter is my reward…

Looking forward to your reply,

Alwin Hoogerdijk
Aston-Martin.com

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