Just had a press release about www.glassesdirect.co.uk winning the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category and the overall NatWest Startups Business of the Year at the Startups Awards. Which is all well and good, but the real story is the ongoing battle between this young hopeful and High Street powerhouse Specsavers.
If you visit the "Specsavers rip down our webpages" part of the site, you'll find a refreshingly open business battle being waged on the part of Glasses Direct, regarding a recent "Sheep Campaign". The campaign included, among other things, leaflets distributed by representatives of Glasses Direct dressed as sheep, bearing the headline "Specspensive?" and the strapline "Don't get fleeced, go to glassesdirect.co.uk".
The legal team at Specsavers didn't find this very funny, so they sent off a legal letter to the company, prompting one one of the more entertaining legal reponses I've read, including:
- "[Glasses Direct] notes that [Specsavers] apparently objects to representatives of Glasses Direct dressed as sheep straying into Specsavers' stores. Our client has no plans to repeat this aspect of the Sheep Campaign. Your client can, of course, raise no objection to the presence of 'sheep' on the public highway outside Specsavers' stores."
- "We are instructed that your client's staff and customers did not object to photographs being taken by the 'sheep', and appeared rather to enjoy the experience."
And perhaps best of all, both for the truly awful but appropriate pun, and the hard sell in the midst of potential litigation: "The message conveyed to the public... is that they can save substantial sums of money by buying from glassesdirect.co.uk. That is indisputably true. Our client has instructed us to inform you that it was not trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes."
Solicitors with a sense of humour. Who'da thunk it?