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Using brand names in novels

(6 Posts)
fackinell Sat 27-Jul-13 09:30:47

Anyone have an idea of the legality on this, please? I've mentioned a brand (in a positive way) in my new novel. It's very relevant to the sentence so would like to keep it there but can't think of seeing any other branding mentions in other books. It's not an attempt at product placement btw. smile

HorryIsUpduffed Sat 27-Jul-13 09:37:17

You can always mention brand names in a factual way - and if accurate and positive then they'll thank you for it!

What you can't do is pretend an association with the company/body (eg implying endorsement where none exists) which is the tort of "passing off" and it's risky to slag off a product or associate it too closely with a bad or daft character.

But if for example your heroine was motivated to save money and lose weight for a particularly delicious Karen Millen suit, that would be fine.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 27-Jul-13 10:21:43

Agree with Horry - it's fine.

There was even a literary movement a few years ago, the New Puritans, who made it part of their manifesto to always use real brand names rather than made-up ones.

There's another type of writer who does it to excess because it's the easiest shorthand way to indicate wealth and status.

fackinell Sat 27-Jul-13 10:30:58

Great, thank you grin the scenario involves the heroine's friend giving thanks for this company's returns policy instead of consoling the jilted friend. It is an association with affluence and middle class. It should be ok then.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 27-Jul-13 11:05:14

You're safe enough then!

If it was me, I would print out a copy of their current returns policy and put it in a file, so that when you're published and famous, if some smartarse comes along and says 'As a matter of fact she got this wrong because as a matter of fact their policy says something else...' you will be able to feel righteously confident they're wrong.

fackinell Sat 27-Jul-13 11:14:28

Good idea, Tunip. smile

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