Ar­riva in le­gal threat over fake brand­ing

Cynon Valley - - NEWS - KATIE GUPWELL katieann.gupwell@waleson­line.co.uk

AR­RIVA Trains Wales bosses have been left red­faced be­cause peo­ple Googling the firm are be­ing con­fronted with a logo with the words “Ar­riva Trains Fails”.

The Ger­man-based trans­port gi­ant has now threat­ened le­gal ac­tion against the Face­book page “Ar­riva Trains Fails – Wales” af­ter search gi­ant Google picked up its par­ody logo in­stead of the of­fi­cial brand­ing.

The page, which has more than 4,000 likes, was set up to high­light is­sues with the be­lea­guered rail op­er­a­tor. The man be­hind the page, Steve Fletcher, said it was set up in 2014 and he has never had any prob­lems be­fore. But this week, the ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Face­book page re­ceived some un­ex­pected news.

In a Face­book post shared to “Ar­riva Trains Fails – Wales” page, he said: “I‘ve just been threat­ened with le­gal ac­tion from Ar­riva Trains Wales over the ban­ner at the top of this page.

“Ap­par­ently if you Google ‘Ar­riva trains’ it ap­pears as their brand logo! I’ve got un­til the April 4 to com­ply oth­er­wise they’ll ‘pur­sue their le­gal reme­dies.’”

Steve says the im­age has been on the site for around three years. The post added: “My re­ply? I told them a sim­ple ‘please’ would have suf­ficed.”

Speak­ing to us, Steve, from Cardiff, said he has al­ways had a “re­ally good” re­la­tion­ship with Ar­riva Trains Wales. They use the Face­book page and I am on the pas­sen­ger panel,” he said.

“They use my Face­book page to see what’s go­ing on, to see what peo­ple are talk­ing about and to see what types of things the cus­tomers com­plain about.

“When peo­ple are search­ing for Ar­riva Trains Wales on Google my ban­ner is com­ing up dis­play­ing Ar­riva Trains Fails. It’s not my fault.”

Over re­cent years, Ar­riva has at­tracted many high­level com­plaints as a re­sult of over­crowd­ing on the Val­ley lines trains. It is due to lose its Welsh fran­chise in Oc­to­ber af­ter it dropped out of the bid­ding process.

Steve said he is aim­ing to seek le­gal ad­vice be­fore re­mov­ing the ban­ner.

A spokesman for Ar­riva Trains Wales said it is im­por­tant the com­pany avoids con­fu­sion with the par­ody page.

He said no le­gal pro­ceed­ings have be­gun, but said a let­ter has been is­sued to Steve ex­plain­ing it re­mains an op­tion if the logo is not re­moved.

Barry Lloyd, head of cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence at Ar­riva Trains Wales, said: “We reg­u­larly work with Stephen Fletcher as a mem­ber of our cus­tomer panel and use the feed­back gath­ered by his Face­book group to mon­i­tor cus­tomer con­cerns and make im­prove­ments. We have al­ways main­tained a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship.

“With re­gard to the logo used on the site, it is im­por­tant that we main­tain con­sis­tent brand­ing on plat­forms such as Google to avoid con­fu­sion for our cus­tomers and pro­tect the Ar­riva logo which is trade­marked, and with that in mind, have asked Stephen to re­move the im­age which has only re­cently been picked up by Google’s search cri­te­ria.

“We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work with Stephen and re­ceiv­ing his feed­back as a mem­ber of our cus­tomer panel.”

Ar­riva Trains Wales could take ac­tion against par­ody site Ar­riva Trains Fails for us­ing its brand­ing lo­gos

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