Tennent's renames 'Barcade' campaign as US company threatens legal action

Tennent's Arcade, previously know as Barcade

Tennent's Lager has changed the branding on its specially-created arcade machines sent out as part of its summer activity following the threat of legal action from a chain of US bars.

The company, called Barcade pursued Tennent's for its use of the 'Barcade' trademark on arcade cabinets and games it planned to distribute to pubs across the country.

The campaign rolled out in July as Barcade with the lager brand seeking to entertain pub-goers, hit home brand awareness and boost sales.

However, Barcade Inc, that boasts arcade pubs in Brooklyn, Jersey City, Philadelphia, New York, St. Mark’s and New Haven, said it owned the 'Barcade' trademark in the UK and EU and accused Tennent's of ‘unlawfully using [its] trademark’.

Tennent’s last month rebranded the drive as Tennent’s Arcade, updating the machines, games and marketing materials, although it admitted it was not legally required to do so.

A Tennent's spokesperson told The Drum: “We renamed Barcade to Tennent’s Arcade because we found out the name was already in use in America. We reviewed the details of the EU trademark and while legally we were not obliged to change anything, we’ve renamed as a gesture of good faith.

“Name change or not though, the ‘Bar’ is still at the heart of our Arcade – we’re touring 32 Scottish pubs over the next few weeks, seeking out champs for our 80s inspired games, including International Chap Door Run and Super Wally.”

Barcade representatives Cozen O’Connor said: “As we are sure you can appreciate and as required by intellectual property law, Barcade engages in significant efforts to enforce its rights and to protect its brand.

“The use of our client’s trademark in connection with Tennent’s services is likely to contribute to consumer confusion and your use of Barcade to refer to bar and arcades generally in connection with headline and search tags is incorrect and dilutes the value of our client’s brand."

The campaign was activated by agencies Something Something, Bright Signals and Wire. The cabinets will tour Scottish pubs, read more about that here.

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