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May 15, 2009

Aviva gets silly over rebranding


Aviva are getting aggressive with the big rebranding of Norwich Union to Aviva in the UK.

I’ve just received an email asking me to change all and any previous references of Norwich Union on any website I run to Aviva.

Yeah, right.

And the email also included a copy of the logo, with an attached terms and conditions of use defining when I can use the logo.

These conditions include a few silly points:

1. In consideration of You agreeing to comply with the terms of this Agreement, the Aviva Company hereby grants You a non-exclusive, and non-transferable licence free of charge to use the Aviva name and the Logo for the Permitted Purpose and to do so on the terms and conditions set out in this Agreement.
2. This Agreement shall commence when the email containing these terms and conditions is delivered to You and shall continue in force for as long as the Aviva name and/or the Logo is used by You or until terminated in accordance with Clause 5 or 7 of this Agreement.
3. You undertake:
3.1 to use the Aviva name and the Logo in accordance with specifications laid down, directions given, and information supplied by the Aviva Company and by persons authorised by the Aviva Company from time to time;
3.2 to use the Aviva name and the Logo only for the Permitted Purpose; and
3.3 to permit the Aviva Company or its authorised representative at all reasonable times to enter Your premises for the purpose of inspecting the use of the Aviva name and the Logo; and
3.4 not to alter, amend or distort the Aviva name and/or the Logo in any way.
4. You further undertake:
4.1 to use the Aviva name and the Logo without alteration or modification and in such manner and with such acknowledgement of proprietorship as shall from time to time be stipulated by the Aviva Company;
4.2 not to apply any other trademark to the Aviva name and/or the Logo (save as may be expressly agreed otherwise) nor any other matter in writing liable to injure the reputation or distinctiveness of the Aviva name and/or the Logo; and
4.3 not to use the Aviva name and/or Logo in any way which might cause the Aviva Company or any member of the Aviva group of companies to be brought into disrepute
5. If in the sole discretion of the Aviva Company, You use or propose to use the Aviva name and/or the Logo in any way which may injure the reputation or the validity of the trade marks in the Aviva name and/or the Logo or the reputation of the Aviva Company or any member of the Aviva group of companies, the Aviva Company may terminate this Agreement immediately.
6. You hereby indemnify the Aviva Company, Aviva plc and all companies within the Aviva group of companies against all and any liability, loss, damages, costs, legal costs, professional and other expenses of any nature whatsoever incurred or suffered by any such company as a result of You using the Aviva name and/or the Logo otherwise than as permitted by this Agreement.
7. This Agreement will be terminated in the following circumstances:
7.1 by the Aviva Company giving You written notice; or
7.2 immediately if You are in breach of any obligation or condition of this Agreement.
8. Upon termination of this Agreement for whatever reason You shall immediately cease to make use of the Aviva name and/or the Logo and will within 30 days of such termination either deliver up to the Aviva Company or (as directed by the Aviva Company) destroy any material bearing the Aviva name and/or the Logo.
9. You may not assign or sub-license any right or permission given to you under this Agreement.
10. This Agreement is governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and any dispute in relation to it shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in England and Wales.

So let’s get this straight – Aviva are telling me that as soon as I receive this email from them, I’m being held to terms and conditions regardless as to whether I agree with them?

And that Aviva can demand entry to my property, and demand any acknowledgement (backlinks!!) when using the logo.

Additionally, Aviva insist no one uses the logo for any other purpose than what they sanction?

Come on, Aviva, you’re acting daft – this is the internet – stop trying to dictate terms at online publishers, and get your act together with communications.

I sent a reply stating that we do not agree to any such terms, we will use the logo where relevant but as we see fit.

In the meantime, I’ve already “broken” their “conditions” by modifying the image through resizing, and also made a critical post of Aviva displaying the Aviva logo – something UK law absolutely supports so long as not for commercial purposes.

Makes me feel like I’m acting a bit of an arse, but, really, that was one dumb email – and one dumb set of conditions – that they sent out.

Related posts to:
"Aviva gets silly over rebranding":

  1. You really haven’t got your head around copyright or trading laws have you? It is perfectly reasonable to expect defunct brand names to be updated by suppliers so that rules dictated by Companies House are not breached. I’m afraid that it’s you who’s getting silly! Not to mention petty and unprincipled.

    Comment by G Moore — May 30, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

  2. It seems to me that big corporates often want to use a big stick such as these type of t’s & c’s rather than taking the sensible route and asking nicely. I’m sure you would have reacted much more favourably to a gentle request for help. If you run a small business and rely on co-operation from your customers and suppliers you soon learn to moderate your demands!

    Comment by Rory — June 15, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

  3. Surprised Aviva haven’t been sued by Visa for nicking their font (and maybe sounding a bit like them too).

    I had a girlfriend called Aviva whose nickname at skool was Vauxhall. So each time I see the logo it reminds me of a broken down piece of crap. Very fitting really.

    Comment by Alan Johnson — June 10, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

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