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TESCO AND W H SMITH IN CLUBCARD BRAND ROW

News, 01 August 1997

W H SMITH'S RIGHT to use the term ‘Clubcard' is being challenged by Tesco with threats of legal action. Following successful regional tests, WHS has announced a national roll-out of its loyalty card branded with the same name as Tesco's card, which was launched in 1995. However, the sickly stationer is insouciant about possible litigation, insisting that the term ‘clubcard' is not legally protectable. 'I imagine Tesco will object to our use of the word.', says Liz Harlow, WHS' relationship marketing manager. 'If I were them, I probably would. But it's not a legal problem. We think it's a generic term.' ISP legal advisor Philip Circus agrees: 'It is one of the prices you have to pay for being the first in the market - that you may in time see it becoming a generic term. Tesco should be flattered.'