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TalkTalk and BT in Comedy Squabble Over Promotional Rocket Graphics

Friday, December 5th, 2014 (1:42 pm) - Score 1,396

Several weeks ago the Director of BT’s Superfast Broadband Programme in Cornwall, Ranulf Scarbrough, comically complained to us and others that TalkTalk had “stolen our rocket!“. At the time we chuckled and moved on from what appeared to be little more than a bit of comedy jesting between competitive foes in the ISP sector, but today it’s made the news.

The issue, such as it is, centres around a simple clipart style graphic of a rocket that both companies appear to be using in order to promote their respective superfast “fibre broadband” (FTTC) services (incidentally both products use the same BT-based infrastructure). After all, we all know that rockets are fast and so a rocket used to signify the delivery of broadband.. well you get the picture (or clipart). It’s fast, something like that.

Mr Scarbrough advised that the rocket they use in various ad campaigns (both online and offline), and have been using for the “last couple of years now“, is a good bit of promotional fun for the new FTTC and sometimes even FTTP connectivity that the vast majority of people in Cornwall can now take. You can see one of the projects most recent promotions below, including said rocket.

rocket bt cornwall

However BT’s Cornwall team aren’t happy because, they claim, TalkTalk appears to have ended up using something similar in one of their current promotions. Scarbrough later suggested that this is perhaps a tad unimaginative of TalkTalk. Either that or they’re both sharing a very similar clipart library, possibly borrowed from the set of Wallace and Gromit.

rocket_talktalk

Admittedly the lines and colours are a bit different, but there are still some obvious similarities. On the other hand most rockets tend to look alike because that’s just how they roll. Well nobody would draw a square rocket, you’re simply not going to reach space in a square rocket! Mind you, that never stopped my younger self from trying with cardboard boxes.. all of three decades ago.

Never the less a report in today’s Telegraph has picked up on the issue, if we can even call it that, and quotes Nigel Ashcroft (Programme Director for SFC) as saying, “It makes it look as though we are promoting TalkTalk’s broadband, when we offer Cornwall and the Scilly Isles a choice of more than 50 internet service providers.”

A Spokesperson for TalkTalk responded:

We are sorry Superfast Cornwall feels we have infringed on its intellectual property rights, but we disagree. Images of rockets are commonly used to illustrate speed and innovation.”

Apparently the Superfast Cornwall scheme is now “considering [its] options“, which may or may not include.. well frankly we have no idea what lengths they might go to, but we are sensing just a hint of crafty PR. Anyway, now seems like a wonderful idea to start drinking.. heavily.

Leave a Comment
11 Responses
  1. Avatar Jamie says:

    I think you’ll find Mr Scarbrough that your rocket is still where you left it, for it to have been stolen would mean that it was missing yet it’s clearly visible on your website 😉

  2. Avatar dragoneast says:

    Off their rockers rather than rocket, perhaps.

  3. Avatar sentup.custard says:

    In the next enthralling episode, I expect Stalk-Stalk to point out that the BT rocket has strings attached and the porthole has been firmly taped over so there’s no escape when things go wrong.

  4. Avatar Enki says:

    Are these rockets off to Junk Planet, through Blanket Sky to shining Button Moon. There they meet Captain Large and the Bottle Army. Through his telescope he spies a witch’s magic.

    1. Avatar sentup.custard says:

      Well, if they are they will probably *both* get sued:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-22573733
      🙂

    2. Avatar Enki says:

      Too shay 😉

  5. Avatar fttx says:

    Same customer lines, same rocket… Don’t see the problem. It’s not as if it’s a different product.

  6. Avatar david says:

    wish they would take the rocket and plant fttc on the moon that’s how over hyped it is aka “superfast ” makes you laugh what the BT cowboys come out with .

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Another worthwhile post David, great contribution

  7. Avatar GNewton says:

    This shows what a bunch of loosers the UK telecoms are.

    1. Avatar No Clue says:

      I await the idiot BT organisation attempting court proceedings over clip art and claims only they can use a rocket to indicate speed.

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