NEWS25 January 2010

Comcon takes tough stance over TGI trademark in Russia

Europe Legal

RUSSIA— Research agency Comcon has vowed to continue using the TGI survey brand in Russia following Kantar’s decision to make a TNS survey the official TGI partner in the country.

Kantar announced in November that the TNS Russia Marketing Index study would replace Comcon’s previous work as the certified TGI survey for the country, but the local agency – which has run the survey for the past 15 years – still holds the rights to the TGI brand.

Comcon has warned that any use of the TGI brand by TNS Russia would be illegal and demanded that the firm removes any reference to it from its websites and corporate materials.

The firm’s director general Elena Koneva (pictured) told Research that Comcon signed a licence agreement in 2006, which gives it “exclusive rights” to the brand and provides it with “legal protection” over the survey’s name. The agreement expires in 2015, and Koneva said Comcon will continue to produce a TGI-branded survey until then.

Kantar said that BMRB served Comcon with notice that its TGI licensing agreement was being terminated at the end of 2009, and that in May this year, TNS Russia would transfer its Marketing Index data into BMRB’s TGI Global database.

The firm said that TNS Russia will continue to use the Marketing Index brand and that it does not – and has not – used the TGI branding in Russia.

TNS Russia said that the use of the TGI Trademark “is not crucial” because of the reputation of the Marketing Index and that its main priority for working with BMRB was synchronising its Russian data with other TGI studies from around the world.

In a statement, the firm said: “TNS Russia in no circumstances challenges or intends to discuss publicly Comcon’s right to use the TGI trademark in Russia. This is an independent agreement between BMRB and Comcon.”