Showing posts with label rhythmix. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rhythmix. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Showbiz Zoe with Zoe Showbiz goes to Romford

You'll remember Zoe Griffin, the former Sunday Mirror showbiz writer who now... well, you remember her.

Let's catch up with her "live like a VIP" blog where, yesterday, she went to a shopping centre in Essex to watch some people from a gameshow do a PA. That's less living like a VIP, more like living like someone on their way to Greggs to pick up lunch.

The PA was from Little Mix, off the current series of X Factors. You'll recall they used to have a different name. Zoe certainly does:

The band, who had to change their name from Rhythmix to avoid trouble with a long-established charity with the same name (don’t mess with do-gooders), bounded on stage to rapturous applause at the shopping centre.
"Don't mess with do-gooders" - what a nasty, sneery way of dismissing a charity which has been doing good work with young people for years. There's an implication ("to avoid trouble") that this was some sort of good-natured tussle, rather than a case of the band having to change their name because it refused to roll over simply because Simon Cowell attempted to bulldoze their name off of them. Griffin conjures a vision of angry do-gooders rather than good people having their work disrupted by an entertainment programme which thought its marketing needs were more important than people who help people.

Still, fair play to Zoe for pointing out the fundamental flaw in the day:
After the gig came the signings. As the band don’t actually have any material of their own yet, it made this particular part of the day a bit difficult.
At least they've got a name of their own, I guess. Or rather are able to use a trademark owned by Simon Cowell.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Cowell turns happy ending into horrible hanging threat

Remember Rhythmix, the charity whose name Simon Cowell tried to bully-off them? Cowell was attempting to use the name for one of the bands on The X Factor and tried to steal the trademark.

But the band "decided" to change their name, right? So everything turned out okay?

Not quite, for as Cowell perseveres with the Pop Idol format long after the market has been saturated, so he pursues his vendettas. Rhytmix are still in trouble:

Unfortunately, whilst your company Simco and your programme The X Factor have managed to stage a PR event publicly changing the name of your contestants, actually the legal position hasn't changed at all, and neither has the outcome for the Charity.
Cowell's team aren't responding to any letters:
Why won't they respond? Because the legal advice is that the Charity cannot afford to pursue Simco through the courts, so the best way to "win" this matter is to not deal with it and wait for the Charity's money to run out.

Bluntly, that legal advice is correct. This Charity isn't prepared to spend thousands of pounds forcing Simco to "do the right thing". We won't be sending you any more legal letters. We won't be asking Simco any more times not to take our identity. We won't write any more letters to you or to Simco asking that you or they cover the unjustified legal costs they have forced upon the Charity.
They've already had to spend £8000 on legal fees so far; to Cowell that's - what? - a pair of laces for one of his shoes' to Rhythmix, it's "120 hours of music making and social interaction for vulnerable young people that benefit from the Charity's work."

You can help: Rhythmix are trying to raise some money, and you might want to have a word with X-Factor sponsors TalkTalk and ask them what they think of it. TalkTalk are also on Twitter, so you might try there, too.

Rhythmix work with young people in the South-East who find themselves in trouble. It's unlikely they'd have turned their backs on Brighton's Frankie Cocozza.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cowell backs down, Rhythmix changes name

Belatedly doing the right thing, Simon Cowell and his evil moon-thieves are clumping into action to try and salvage the whole 'trying to bully a charity into giving up their name' fiasco.

It's being pitched as if the contestants themselves came up with the idea of not calling themselves Rhythmix any more:

"At the request of the charity Rhythmix, the members of the girl group Rhythmix have decided to change their name, a decision which has the support of Syco and TalkbackTHAMES," a statement from the programme's producers said. "The group's new name will be announced in due course."
The "group" decided, did they? That's about as likely as Bartleby the Pony taking out a deed poll to become Black Beauty off his own initiative.

It's the right thing to do, but it's still depressing that it took the charity taking its complaints public and building 65,000 Facebook supporters; it's unacceptable that ITV, Talkback Thames and Simco are trying to spin this as doing a charity a favour.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

X Factor: Bullying charity

As if the transparent faked storm on the front pages of the papers today weren't enough of an image-dent for the X Factor, there's a genuine storm brewing. A music charity claims that Cowell's people have been trying to bully control of its name from them:

On 23 September 2011, Simco (a company owned in large part by Simon Cowell) lodged an application in Europe to trademark the name "Rhythmix" for use by the programme X Factor. At the time of lodging that application, X Factor and Simco were fully aware that "Rhythmix" was an existing trademarked name of a music charity that works with vulnerable young people. Rather than seeking any discussion with the Charity, considering any of the moral implications of their actions, or checking with the Charity whether the pursuit of an exclusive trademark might have any negative impact on the activities of the Charity, Simco and their legal representatives sought a way to use the law to circumvent the trademark of the Charity.

The two questions for X Factor, ITV, Syco, Simco, Freemantle and Talkback Thames are simple:

1. You knew it was a music charity working with very vulnerable young people, so why did you try to take the name, aggressively seeking to limit the use of the name by the Charity by lodging applications to grant you the exclusive right to record, create promotional items and even use the word in printed media?

2. If you thought it wasn't going to be a problem, now you know it is. Professional people who work in this field are telling you it is. The media are telling you it is. The public are telling you it is. Why have you so far failed to make a public statement clearly laying out your reasons why you need to keep the name.... or why do you not simply change the name?
Perhaps even more unedifying than the idea of Cowell trying to snaffle a charity's name is some of the comments from what we can only presume to be X Factor fans on the charity's Facebook page. Take Ross Greig:
Maybe instead of wasting time into long notes you should put more effort into the charity. The whole point of charity is helping people. But how can you do that whilst arguing on facebook... Priorities
Clearly, reading what is an admittedly long but fair explanation of the charity's position was a bit of a strain for Ross, and made his head hurt. Otherwise why would he have written a comment so preposterous? Unless he really believes that trying to protect the name they've been using for over a decade is a waste of time. Perhaps they should just view this as if Ricky Gervais had "reclaimed" their name for them, right?

Rhythmix have rather a good response:
Actually Ross, I completely agree with you. I don't see any reason at all why we should have to monitor this wall, or write long notes, time that could be usefully spent doing what we want to do. Could somebody please tell Simco that as well?
Jake Ryan looks on the bright side:
If worst comes to worst and you lose and change your name, people will:-
A) Only remember the girl band as the band that stole the charity name (which will always have comedic value and they will be despised)

B) Still remember who you USED to be and remember the name you change to, everybody remembers the World Wrestling Federation, im sure you guys will be fine!

+If worst comes to worst, and you lose the name and all your publicity and everything, you'll know to get better solicitors!
Yeah, that's a good point. If you lose the name you've spent all that time building up, all you need to do is mount an expensive rebranding exercise. A few weeks of nationwide TV programming under your new name and you'll be fine, yeah?

It's unclear if Jake remembers that the wrestling people had to change their name after a charity had to fight a legal action to protect their brand in the face of a muscular attempt to snatch a trademark by a populist entertainment company.