ELZABURU has had the pleasure of working together with the publisher Thomson-Reuters Aranzadi on Fashion Law, a pioneering work in Spain on the subject of fashion law, which was presented on 16 April.

In these short weekly summaries, the professionals at ELZABURU who participated in the work offer us a brief outline of their contributions:

Corporate reputation

Corporate reputation could be likened to the concept of prestige or fame and defined as the image or perception that both the general public and the fashion company’s customers, as well as the company itself, have of the company.

If we consider that the decision-making process of consumers is no longer governed by objective factors such as the quality of materials or the price of a product but by the values and experiences transmitted by brands (e.g., modernity, design, etc.), we can conclude that corporate reputation is a valuable asset for a company, which has an influence on the value and price of that company’s products in the marketplace.

The reputation of fashion companies and brands is the result of a carefully devised communication strategy, creating and maintaining value for the brand beyond the product, and recognition of the brand in the marketplace (by existing or potential consumers, competitors, the general public).

The following are generally the cornerstones of this strategy:

  • Creating and maintaining a reputation in the fashion market, by selecting a niche in the market and working on positioning.
  • Designing communication policies and developing marketing initiatives.
  • Implementation of policies for management of any potential reputation crisis.

For when such actions prove to be insufficient, fashion companies and brands need to be familiar with the regulatory framework which guarantees legal protection of their reputation and establish a plan of action against any unlawful attack against the same, from a communication and legal standpoint.

The options offered by the legal system may by divided into two areas: civil and criminal.

1.Civil

Within the first area, there are two options depending on the legal asset affected: protection of the right to honour and unfair competition.

Provision for the protection of the right to honour is made in Organic Act No. 1/1982 of 5 May 1982, affording civil protection to the right to honour, personal and family privacy, and one’s own likeness. This right is recognized in respect of legal persons in the references to “good name” or “reputation”.

Moreover, the Unfair Competition Act, Act No. 3/1991 of 10 January 1991, aims to ensure the proper functioning of the market and punish acts of unfair competition in the marketplace. Attacks against the reputation of a fashion company can sometimes fall within the category of unfair conduct (e.g., acts of denigration), and the company can seek to protect its rights through this option.

Additionally, it is important to consider the right of rectification, as regulated by Act No. 2/1984, which permits a (natural or legal) person to “correct information on facts related to him broadcasted by the mass media, which he considers untrue and the dissemination of which may cause him damage”.

2. Criminal

Finally, when the attacks against the fashion company’s or fashion brand’s reputation are particularly serious, protection may be sought under criminal law.

Specifically, if the act against the corporate reputation of the fashion company or brand consists of an action or expression which is harmful to its dignity, damages its reputation or undermines its self-esteem, it could constitute insult or defamation, as regulated by Articles 208 to 210 of the Criminal Code.

If said act consists of accusations of having committed an offence, made in the knowledge that they are false or display a reckless disregard for the truth, it could be considered false accusation of an offence, as regulated by Articles 205 to 207.

Author: Alba María López

Visit our website: http://www.elzaburu.es/en

Blog entries in the series Fashion Law:

1.Trademark protection in the fashion sector (23.04.2018)

2.Design protection in the fashion sector (30.04.2018)

3.Patent protection in the fashion sector (07.05.2018)

4.Protection of fashion through copyright (21.05.2018)

5. Image rights in the fashion sector (28.05.2018)

6.Fashion Law. Data Fashion (04.06.2018)

7.Counterfeiting in the fashion sector (11.06.2018)

8.Exhaustion of rights in the fashion sector (18.06.2018)

9.Corporate reputation in the fashion sector (25.06.2018)

10. Protection of the commercial imagen of a fashion brand (04.07.2018)

11. Websites, Apps & Social Networks (13.07.2018)

12. Valuation of intangible assets (17.07.2018)

13. Licensing (06.09.2018)