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Friday, 12 December 2014

Henley Regatta

I only once attended the Henley Royal Regatta, and that was by accident. I was caching in that area, and if I'd known that the Regatta was happening that day, I'd have given it a wide berth, because it made parking impossible, and even moving around in the area was made difficult. And even in a field a coule of miles away, I could hear the booming noise pollution of what I guess was some sort of commentary.

A couple of years ago, I got a spam inviting me to attend. I was really surprised that an organisation as august as  HRR would stoop so low as to spam. Actually, it wasn't HRR, it was someone selling tickets to their event, on their behalf. I complained to HRR, and the took suitable action with the spammer.

Today, it happened again. Charming Events sent me this miscapitalised email:

Your VIP hospitality package will include: Admission to Temple Island Enclosure River cruise for one and a half hours
 with Pimms, Bucks Fizz and soft drinks served on board (optional) Morning coffee on arrival Champagne, Pimms and canape
    reception Four course luncheon Fine wines, port and brandy Traditional afternoon tea with strawberries and cream
   Complimentary bar throughout the day including Champagne Official programme (one per two guests) Floral decorations
    Colour television within the chalet Reserved car parking, just yards from your chalet Live 'official regatta race
           commentary' Riverside jazz band featuring morning and afternoon Specialist Hostesses in attendance.


The Specialist Hostesses sound good - I wonder what they specialise in? But even so, I'd pay good money to get out of having to attend. Fortunately, I can not-attend for free.

So I contacted HRR again, to tell them about this latest spam. Curiously, although HRR have a web site, they don't give a contact email address. So I emailed their Press office (for which I did find an email address) to tell them about this article.

 ... update ...

I spoke to HRR. Apparently, this is nothing to do with them. They don't own the whole river, and some people hold events on the same date as HRR. And the guy at HRR, seemed to think there wasn't much he could do. "They even claim to be linked to us", he said. And they do - the email is entitled "Henley Regatta - The best hospitality" and headed with "Henley Royal Regatta Temple Island Enclosure".

So I explained to him A) about spam, and that they should hit them with that, and B), more importantly, that this looks to me to be very like "Passing off", where one company tries to hijack another company's brand. The use of the phrases "Henley Regatta" and "Henley Royal Regatta" certainly made me think that they were associated.

So I wished him luck in pursuing this.

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