Reputation Management: Strategy and Tips For Dealing With Attacks on Your Brand A Practical Guide To Identifying The Pitfalls And The Solutions To Getting It Right
Defamation Malicious Falsehood Breach Of Confidence Intellectual Property Laws
Malicious Falsehood It is a tort, a lie that was uttered with malice, that is, the utterer knew that would they said was false. Legislation – Defamation Act 1952. The statement that was maliciously made needs to cause damage to the claimant.
To be successful in a claim for malicious falsehood, the claimant must prove: the defendant published words about the claimant that were false; they were published maliciously; and the publication has caused special damage. The Act provides that the claimant does not have to prove special damage if the words are likely to cause economic damage to the client and are published in writing or some other type of permanent form. The Court of Appeal has recently ruled (in Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe SAS v Asda Stores Limited  EWCA Civ 609) that in determining whether a statement constitutes “malicious falsehood”, the Court may take into account whether the statement is capable of bearing more than one meaning. Facts of the case The defendant, Asda, sold health food products. The packaging of the products bore a flower logo, on the petals of which were written “No hidden nasties” and “No artificial colours or flavours and no aspartame Ajinomoto alleged that the wording on Asda’s packaging carried the false meaning “that there is a risk that aspartame is harmful or unhealthy”. Asda argued that it meant “that these foods were for customers who found aspartame objectionable”. The case is a salutary reminder to manufacturers and retailers to exercise care in labeling their products. Organisations should also take extra caution whenever invoking a competitor’s business or products in any context.
Hubris The total picture ............is therefore one of deliberate misrepresentations, falsehoods and lies, and is clearly part of the paper's long campaign of sustained attempts to discredit me. The malignant cells of that bent and twisted journalistic cancer include those who engage in forgeries or other instruments of deceit to obtain information for the purposes of a smear story. Above all they include those who try to abuse media power to destroy or denigrate honourable institutions and individuals who have done nothing seriously wrong. If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it. I am ready for the fight. The fight against falsehood and those who peddle it.
Attacks on your brand come in many forms http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
Choose Your Opponent With Care The Claimant was the subject of an article relating to illicit payments, and the magazine had ample evidence to back up the article. Claimant’s lawyers wrote a letter which concluded: "His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply". The magazine's response was, in full: “ We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off."
Own Goals Mc Donalds Mc Libel Fiasco – longest trial in English history, 313 days, length of action 9.5 years and a reprimand from the ECJ
I am not a banker: Sir Fred’s super-injunction backfires SIR Fred Goodwin was criticised last night after a super-injunction to stop people calling him a banker backfired and sparked an outpouring of ridicule online. The floodgates were opened when a backbench Liberal Democrat MP used parliamentary privilege to reveal that the former banker had won a court order banning use of the term – and stopping the media even reporting on the ban. Because John Hemming MP brought the matter up in the House of Commons, the press can now freely report that the controversial former RBS chief tried to suppress mentions of his old occupation.
Law firm 'in contempt' of Commons Mr Hemming had asked for the investigation A law firm has been found "in contempt" of the Commons for suggesting an MP could face legal action for criticising its client in Parliament. The standards and privileges committee said Withers LLP should have realised Lib Dem MP John Hemming was protected by parliamentary privilege.
inancial Times Ltd & ors v UK Case date: 15/12/2009 Court: ECtHR Area/s of law: Article 10 ECHR, Human Rights Outline Facts In 2001 Interbrew, a Belgian brewing company, commissioned Goldman Sachs (GS) to carry out work in relation to a potential takeover bid for South African Breweries plc (SAB), one of its competitors. On 18 November 2001 GS produced a confidential presentation document pertaining to the potential bid, containing details of potential offer prices for SAB shares. At some point this document came into the hands of an unknown individual (X), who on 27 November 2001 sent a partially amended (on Interbrew’s subsequent evidence)version of it to various news media organisations, including The Financial Times (FT), The Times, The Guardian and Reuters. The following day the FT and The Times published articles based on the document stating that it appeared that Interbrew intended to make a bid for SAB shortly (The Times naming the price based on the document). Other media organisations also ran stories based on the leaked document. Interbrew made two press statements, on 28 and 29 November 2001, stating respectively that there was no present intention to make an offer and that the document contained fabrications. Despite the statements, the impact of the leak and subsequent press coverage appeared to have a dramatic effect on the share prices of both Interbrew and SAB and the volume of trading on the shares. On 30 November 2001 Interbrew instructed a security risk consultant to seek to identify X, but the investigation failed. On 6 December 2001 Interbrew commenced a claim in Belgium against a person or persons unknown, and on 10 and 11 December 2001 they applied to the high court against the Applicants for a Norwich Pharmacaal order seeking the document provided to them and all information relating to the identity of their source, and, without notice to the Applicant, an injunction to prevent them from destroying any evidence relating to the same. On the 19 December 2001 the court ordered that the Applicants should provide the material to Interbrew within 24 hours. The Applicants appealed to the Court of Appeal, but the appeal was dismissed on 8 March 2002. Leave to appeal to the House of Lords was refused on 9 July 2002. On 20 December 2002 the Applicant lodged an application with the ECHR. The ECHR held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 10
Trafigura Super Injunction An unprecedented attempt by a British oil trading firm to prevent the Guardian reporting parliamentary proceedings has collapsed following a spontaneous online campaign to spread the information the paper had been barred from publishing. Carter-Ruck, the law firm representing Trafigura, was accused of infringing the supremacy of parliament after it insisted that an injunction obtained against the Guardian prevented the paper from reporting a question tabled on Monday by the Labour MP Paul Farrelly. Farrelly's question was about the implications for press freedom of an order obtained by Trafigura preventing the Guardian and other media from publishing the contents of a report related to the dumping of toxic waste in Ivory Coast. In today's edition, the Guardian was prevented from identifying Farrelly, reporting the nature of his question, where the question could be found, which company had sought the gag, or even which order was constraining its coverage. But overnight numerous users of the social networking site Twitter posted details of Farrelly's question and by this morning the full text had been published on two prominent blogs as well as in the magazine Private Eye.
Simon Singh’s Bogus Journey 23 February 2010 Print Email Share Comments (28) Save A Court of Appeal hearing takes place today in a libel case. The time estimate is just one day; the appeal is only of a preliminary ruling of the High Court; there are no Magic Circle law firms involved – indeed, the defence and appeal are being case managed by an assistant solicitor; and the respective parties are neither financial institutions nor multinational corporations. But this is a case which is one of The Lawyer’s Top 10 Litigation cases of 2010; the panel of the Court of Appeal will consist of the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, and Lord Justice Sedley; a petition mounted in response to the case was signed by over 20,000 people, including Nobel Prize Winners, the Poet Laureate, and the Astronomer Royal; and the legal reform campaign ignited by this case has so far resulted in a working group at the Ministry of Justice; and as an effect of all this, legislative reform is highly likely in the next parliament. So in some ways this is just a normal case; but it is certainly one which is having exceptional consequences. The case is that of British Chiropractic Association v Simon Singh and it is now perhaps the most notorious libel case since McLibel. However, for someone coming to this case afresh, there is perhaps a puzzling question: why has this case, instead of any other, become the rallying point for libel reform? As someone who has followed the case closely since its beginning, there appears to be four reasons to explain this outcome. First, the facts of the case raise important issues for scientists and science writers about the relationship between free speech, libel, and public health. Simon Singh published an comment article in The Guardian in April 2008 where he attacked claims being made by the British Chiropractic Association for the use of chiropractic for certain children’s ailments such as asthma, colic, and frequent ear infections. In particular, he disputed whether there was any evidence base for these treatments. The British Chiropractic Association was, he said, “happily promoting bogus treatments”. The British Chiropractic Association then sued Simon Singh personally for libel; they turned down the offer of a right of reply; and they did not, at that time, put forward their purported evidence base, which of course would have settled the matter in the eyes of any scientist. As this was an important issue about public health – the treatment of children’s ailments and the importance of evidence-based medicine – and as the underlying issue was the validity of the relevant scientific evidence, this seemed to many a singularly inappropriate way for libel law to be used. A science writer should be able to communicate his genuinely-held grave concerns about such things without fear of litigation. And even two years later, it remains that the simple facts of the case are the main reason why there is so much support across the world for Simon Singh in this particular case. This leads to the second factor for the prominence of this case: the role of the internet. Simon Singh is an internationally regarded science writer and communicator. Awarded the MBE for science education, he has produced a number of books tackling the most difficult and complex topics – the Big Bang, Fermat’s Last Theorum, code breaking – in an accessible way for lay people. He has a solid reputation for both scientific integrity and the effective popularisation of science. He has a global fanbase, consisting mainly of those interested in science and, significantly, the technologically literate. For almost a year after the claim form was issued, this case was not picked up by the mainstream media; but it was rapidly becoming notorious in the worldwide blogosphere. Many simply could not believe what was happening: that someone like Simon Singh could be sued and placed into a serious financial predicament for trenchant but (in their view) ultimately sensible criticism. But it was not mere indignation: many also wanted to understand these seemingly weird English libel laws. My own blog, which sought to explain libel law to those following Simon Singh’s case, started receiving thousands of hits a day. As a result this case had an international audience - concerned and informed –anxiously following each step in this seemingly misconceived litigation.
Other Practical Solutions ASA PCC OFCOM BBC Trust On-Line Reputation Management using search engine optimisation techniques Facebook Twitter Bloggers
Ex-Cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken is behind bars in a south London prison after he was jailed for perjury and perverting the course of justice.
ASA Marketing communications that include a price comparison must state the basis of the comparison. Comparisons with a competitor price must be with the price for an identical or substantially equivalent product and must explain significant differences between the products. If the competitor offers more than one similar product, marketers should compare their price with the price for the competitor’s product that is most similar to the advertised product.
Accuracy i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published. In cases involving the Commission, prominence should be agreed with the PCC in advance. iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact. iv) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published. 2 Opportunity to reply A fair opportunity for reply to inaccuracies must be given when reasonably called for.
3 *Privacy i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications. ii) Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent. Account will be taken of the complainant's own public disclosures of information. iii) It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent. Note - Private places are public or private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. 4 *Harassment i) Journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit. ii) They must not persist in questioning, telephoning, pursuing or photographing individuals once asked to desist; nor remain on their property when asked to leave and must not follow them. If requested, they must identify themselves and whom they represent. iii) Editors must ensure these principles are observed by those working for them and take care not to use non-compliant material from other sources.
Marketing communications that include a comparison with an identifiable competitor must not mislead, or be likely to mislead, the consumer about either the advertised product or the competing product. 3.34 They must compare products meeting the same need or intended for the same purpose. 3.35 They must objectively compare one or more material, relevant, verifiable and representative feature of those products. 3.36 They must not create confusion between the marketer and its competitors or between the marketer’s product, trade mark, trade name or other distinguishing mark and that of a competitor.
Electric sports car maker Tesla Motors is sueing the BBC's Top Gear TV programme for allegedly faking a scene showing the company's Roadster car running out of electricity and slowing to a halt in a race. The legal move is the culmination of a row that has rumbled on between the show and Telsa since the episode was first broadcast in 2008. Specialist libel law firm Carter-Ruck issued the writ on behalf of the firm on Tuesday at the high court because the scene was still being shown onworldwide repeats and was available on DVD, and the BBC had failed to correct it. The firm expects to recover not more than £100,000 in damages. In the race with a petrol-powered Lotus Elise, the £87,000 electric car was shown having to stop for a recharge. But the car never ran out of electricity.
BCAP Code Viewing: Introduction Introduction This first edition of the Code comes into force on 1 September 2010. It replaces the four previous separate BCAP Codes for broadcast advertising. a. This Code applies to all advertisements (including teleshopping, content on self-promotional television channels, television text and interactive television advertisements) and programme sponsorship credits on radio and television services licensed by Ofcom. It is designed to inform advertisers and broadcasters of the standards expected in the content and scheduling of broadcast advertisements and to protect consumers. The basic principles of the Code are set out in Section 1: Compliance.
Complain to Ofcom If something in a specific radio or television programme that has been broadcast concerns you and you would like to make a complaint please use this form.
Harassed by journalists The broadcasters and the broadcasting news organisations have agreed with the Press Complaints Commission that in a situation where an individual feels harassed because large numbers of print and broadcast journalists have congregated to cover a news story, the following emergency number: 07659 152 656 (which operates 24 hours a day) can be used by a person affected to notify the relevant organisations of their concern. Whether the journalists are withdrawn is then a decision for the relevant organisations.
Accuracy or bias on the BBC If your complaint relates to matters of due impartiality, due accuracy or bias in BBC programming, please make a complaint directly to the BBC: these areas are regulated by the BBC Trust rather than Ofcom. The BBC has a formal complaints process and complaints should be escalated with them in the first instance, as outlined in the BBC’s complaints handling procedures on its website.