Learning from the Tonino Lamborghini Globe Tattoo Affair

I guess it is exciting or somewhat expected by companies and even some individuals living inside the Social Media jungle to look positively on trends or if one was in the news. Maybe it is good to be talked about, specially in Social Media channels. Although, I am not sure if the people at Globe Telecoms would welcome the latest hit they had in terms of local twitter trend and the latest focus of blogposts and news items revealed if you were to do a search on Google and in Facebbok.

Tonino Lamborghini and Globe Telecom and its Tattoo Brand became the superstar-of-the-day topic in most social media channels. And this is because over a brouhaha on whether or not Globe Telecom got permission to use the name Tonino Lamborghini. It was a press statement dispatch war that started a mini brush fire in the Social Media Jungle.

Press Statement War

Press Statement of Tonino Lamborghini

BOLOGNA, ITALY–(Marketwire – Aug. 23, 2011) – Tonino Lamborghini s.r.l., an Italy-based company which is the sole lawful owner worldwide of the trademark “Tonino Lamborghini” hereunder
wishes to inform its customers that unauthorized people are currently trading online and through Globe stores a “4G Tatto Tonino Lamborghini” broadband stick which is a counterfeited product.
Tonino Lamborghini s.r.l. has never manufactured or authorized anyone to manufacture such a product which constitutes therefore a serious trademark infringement.
Moreover the advertising campaign “Feed your need for speed” featuring Marlon Stockinger, first Filipino to win a formula race in Europe, is deceitful and unlawful since it leads to a serious likelihood of confusion between two different and separate brands and businesses that is to say “Tonino Lamborghini” and “Automobili Lamborghini”.
Tonino Lamborghini s.r.l. shall take any legal action to protect the brand.
Yours faithfully,
Dott. Gian Luca Filippi
Tonino Lamborghini s.r.l.
[Source: Marketwire]

The press release also appears on the Corporate Website of Tonino Lambprghini and which can be viewed and downloaded as a PDF file here.

And in Facebook – Tonino Lamborghini also shows what is happening via its Twitter Feed.

Press Statement of Globe

Globe Telecom obtained authorization to use the name and logo Tonino Lamborghini through an agreement with Primo Mobile, the master franchisor of mobile phone related products for the Italian brand Tonino Lamborghini. Primo Mobile is a Singapore-based company that has a master license agreement with Tonino Lamborghini s.r.l. and is duly authorized to sub-license the use of the Lamborghini logo. The design of the Globe Tattoo Tonino Lamborghini 4G USB sticks was reviewed and approved by Primo Mobile.
Globe Telecom assures the public of its strong adherence and commitment to the highest ethical standards in business and good corporate governance. The company will not engage in any activity that will mislead the public in the course of doing business and serving its customers.
[Source – Globe’s Tattoo Tumblr Account]

The press release was also mentioned twice by enjoyGlobe on Twitter.

What would happen now? Who knows, my gut feeling is that would be up to te hands of the lawyers. But this story does bring up an interesting case because of the lessons that may be learned from it.

How it progressed in Social Media

Tonino Lamborghini s.r.l. issued only one press statement that appeared on its company website under press releases and was carried on Marketwire. At the same time they tweeted the press release and it also appeared on their Facebook Page. The press release was picked up by digital media and was posted on blogs and media web sites. This was then picked up and re-broadcasted on Facebook, Twitter and other sites.

Globe Telecom reacted with a press release that appear on their Tumblr account and also appeared on several local blogs. This was re-broadcasted on Twitter mainly and the other Social Media Channel.

However, Globe failed to mazimize its potential. Globe Telecoms has several Internet Real Estate Properties- websites and blogs on the web. Nonw of its websites covered or issued the press release and even the Globe Tattoo site has a blog that is well not yet constructed. Globe also has or seems to have several pages on Facebook yet none carried the press release. The tumblr blog is good and will reach an audience but this is only one community. And in terms of Search almost nothing from Globe Telecom can be found.

Of course Globe Telecoms problems may stem from the complex relationship of its Internet and Social Media Properties: Different managers and owners. Tonino Lamborghini on the other hand has more slimmer portfolio of Internet and Social Media Properties making it more easy to deploy.

The press release itself, Tonino Lamborghini’s press release carried the name and siganture of its CEO. And this lent more credibility to the statement mainly because the CEO and Company was willing to put their name on the statement. The original document seen in the pdf even carried the CEO’s signature.

Incidentally, It would be interesting to see who would be following Tonino Lamborghini’s twitter feed. I am willing to bet it will people closely identified with Globe Telecom and its rivals. And of course they should monitor this situation.

Anyway, Lessons learned from this particular episode.

One, It highlights the importance of being “in” or have a presence in most social media channels and use it. When the news erupted it came out in three big social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Online Media – blogs and digital newspapers. So it was important to have the official word out an all channels.

Two, It also points out the need for a spokesperson – common voice – official blog for all major social media channel. To have your own presencce on these channels and use it is impportant one cannot just rely on the goodwill and interest of other parties.It is always important to have your voice heard and seen.

Three, It is important to come out and reply immediately but make it apt. Content is important but so is context. A statement that carries with it the name and signature puts on the statement a human face and a gravity of purpose.

Four, Business and Inviduals in cocial media must remember it is not just word of mouth nor is it who has the most number of likes on Facebook, nor is it just about trending on twitter, and it is not just a campaign. Social media is talk, feedback and building a community.

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