Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Raketa, What Did You Think Would Happen?


This morning I awoke with this in my inbox:


Got your attention?  Good!  Here's the short form -

1.  As you know unless you have been living under a rock, in a cave, on one of the outlying planets of the solar system...OMEGA is a primary sponsor of the Sochi Winter Olympics.  As I am also sure you can imagine, sponsorship like that is not exactly inexpensive.

2.  Enter Raketa on the scene presenting the “Raketa for Sochi”. And I must say I loved the moxie! Essentially taking a watch, adorning the dial with the various events of the winter Olympics that are sponsored by, SOMEBODY ELSE! And then, and this was the masterstroke of marketing genius - or the very poorly thought out decision making process of too much liquor during a planning meeting -
you decide to do something that could get you litigated back into the Soviet era. You decide to promote this watch as an "homage" to the city of Sochi? With such "subtle" promotional photographs as this -

Courtesy of Raketa
3. The Olympic Committee moved to essentially "remind" Raketa that, in fact, they were in violation -

Courtesy of Raketa (I guess as they are the ones who sent it to me)
But as if this was not enough fun to start your day off with a laugh, then allow me to share the "shocked indignation" that Raketa expressed -

After a legal claim of the Olympic Committee, the “Raketa” Watch Factory is forced to stop sales of “Raketa for Sochi” series until December 22. Despite the fact that there was no offence against the competition law (Part 1, section 4, Article 14 of the Federal Law № 135-FZ  “On the Protection of Competition”,  July 26, 2006), the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia declared  watches illegal and asked to recall the collection from all the shops.
The Committee declares the ground for suit is “the production and sales of the limited collection “Sochi” that brings the false idea about the producer to be connected with the Olympic games”. It’s good to know that “Raketa” was the official timekeeper of 1980 Summer Olympics, so the connection is historical.

Considering the name of the collection “Raketa for Sochi” it is shoking how the use of the city name can break the law. According to this statement all producers of souvenirs, performers with their concerts and posters, tour agencies with their brochures are in danger of being involved in the lawsuit. Doubting the legalty of using the city name “Sochi” without linking to the Olympic Committee is equivalent to doubt the right to use “London” city name, which was the host city of the 2012 Summer Olympics. In that case all the souvenirs with “London” name on it should have been forbidden, then what would we bring from the capital of Great Britain as a memory gift?

The confirmation of legalty was required also to the use of symboliс images of winter sports. In this case the object of claim is not clear. From the beginnig of history cavemen had been schematically drawing the scenes of living and hunting. Nowadays icons are everywhere. Designers use them creating signs, billboards and magazines. A lot of sport clubs that have nothing in common with the Olympics place symbolic images of people doing different sports at their ads. At last, if anyone managed to doubt the legalty of using WC icons our society would have plunge into chaos!

Nevertheless, due to lack of law and administrative resourses to build up full protection the Watch Factory agreed to withdraw “Raketa for Sochi” series from the market until December 22. Thus, special limited collection “Raketa for Sochi” can only be found in the hands of lucky first buyers.

So I say this with all due respect, but honestly Raketa, what the F*&% did you think was going to happen? Maybe the Hayeks would invite you to their courtesy tent to watch the luge over vodka and caviar?!?

you knew that this was exactly what would happen. In other words, you set out to attract the attention of the folks who enforce Olympic sponsorship agreements, did just enough to get a gentle spank…
(and this is the really "brilliant part") you fire off a press release chock-full of typos that manages to sound both paranoid and delusional at the same time! Well done!

I apologize, but as someone who lived through the cold war and actually remembers that there was once another place called the Soviet Union, this is a refreshing blast from the past! The puffed-up bravado, the willful suspension of common sense - spaceba Raketa! It's good to know that cold war style paranoia is alive and well ; )

Well, not to worry those of you in the west - we have our own puffed-up propaganda machine with the wonderfully misguided folks at Shinola - proudly making "REAL WATCHES" in Detroit - which apparently will soon be the new name for Geneva ; )

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