Stelios’ comment on brand thief Mr Woodroffe and Palatine private equity group
Brand theft is profitable because it is used to confuse the consumer into believing they dealing with a member of easy family of brands (see www.easy.com and www.easyHistory.info). However the brand thief profits from this confusion without adhering to our standards and without paying their dues.
easyGroup, which collects the royalties from the easy family members donates the majority of its profits to the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, a UK registered charity that gives back to society. (www.stelios.org)
Mr Woodroffe is using the domain www.easyfundraising.org.uk and the orange colouring pretending to be a charity when the company is in fact a for-profit entity. It should be noted “dot org” domains are normally reserved for charities.
Some three years ago Woodroffe attracted a significant investment from a private equity group, Palatine who are hoping to make a killing out of their investment. It is their deep pockets that are funding this litigation – clearly this is not a “David against Goliath” as has been suggested. The company that easyGroup are taking to court is more to do with casino capitalism and a lot less with charitable activities.
Woodroffe/Palatine have a business model of getting people to use their website (via search engine optimization and by using the easy prefix) to do their online purchases from which a then unspecified percentage goes to so-called good causes. However the majority of the “cashback” goes into the pockets of Woodroffe and Palatine.
We now have reports that many of the so-called good causes are not in fact registered charities. Indeed some shoppers are complaining that their charities never received the cash back from their purchases.
In addition easyGroup feels obliged to take court action as Woodroffe/Palatine has a very active travel business.
In effect Woodroffe/Palatine is now running an online travel agency using our easy name and the colour orange thereby competing with our easy family of brands.
As many members of the UK general public are shareholders directly or indirectly in easyJet.com or easyHotel.com, it is simply not fair on those shareholders that Woodroffe/Palatine gets to use the easy brand and the colour orange for free and without any product/service quality controls.