[UPDATE – 1/25: Well, it appers this may have just been a misunderstanding of sorts. Ford now says “The Black Mustang Club and other Ford enthusiast clubs are encouraged to take pictures of their own vehicles for use in calendars or other materials as long as they don’t use Ford trademarks in products that will be sold.” Thanks boingboing]
Fresh from our discussion last week about removing friction (or anything that slows down or halts the interaction of a customer with your brand), The Ford Motor Company provides us with a great example of what not to do.
Enter the Black Mustang Club or BMC (you guess it, a club for owner’s of black Mustangs). They all got together and took pictures of their own Mustangs and put a calendar together to sell at CafePress. The Ford Motor Company then asked CafePress to stop making the calendar, as they claimed that the images and the BMC logo were copyright materials owned by the Ford Motor Company.
BMC Owner Lisa said to the other club members:
I’m sorry, but at this point we will not be producing the 2008 BMC Calendar, featuring our 2007 Members of the Month, solely due to Ford Motor Company’s claim that they own all rights to the photos you take of your car. I hope to resolve this soon, and be able to provide the calendar and other BMC merchandise that you guys want and deserve!
Denying enthusiast access to spread your brand is rarely a good decision. In fact, shouldn’t Ford lead the way by encouraging these groups to meet and spreading their brand?
Hat tip to Adrants.