Kate Middleton’s parents once again face scrutiny for their online business marketing strategy, but this time they are not accused of using their royal ties to sell merchandise. This latest round of problems comes from a fictional character from a movie that’s showed up on their website. According to Mail Online Tuesday, October 30, 2012, Kate’s parent’s online business, Party Pieces, had “James Bond 007’s” image enticing customers to throw a party for the latest movie in this franchise.
The newest “James Bond” movie “Skyfall” was represented on the Middleton’s Party Pieces website with even the “Skyfall” movie logo appearing alongside the merchandise. The problem is that the family who owns the rights to the “Bond” images and products, also own all the merchandising rights exclusively. The legendary Broccoli family carefully guard against others using anything “Bond” unless they are licensed to do so.
The Daily Mail contacted the Middleton’s business Party Pieces on Friday and within hours the “James Bond Skyfall” banner disappeared from the website. The goods are still advertised under “James Bond Secret Agent Party” and Mail Online is not sure if the taking down of the “Skyfall” banner was a result of some legal action that was started by the “Bond” producers or not, as Party Pieces didn’t respond to Mail Online’s requests for a comment.
This could be an uncomfortable situation for Kate, the website suggests. Kate’s father-in-law, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were recently guests of the world premiere of the movie and the royal couple got to meet Daniel Craig, who plays the secret agent in the movie, as well as Miss Broccoli, who runs the family business which owns the rights to the “Bond” image.
Michael and Carole Middleton are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to their Party Pieces business. They were first accused of cashing in on their daughter’s wedding by selling things commemorating royal-like images. Things such as the Corgi cake toppers and British trivia scratch tickets on their website apparently raised eyebrows. They sold nothing different than what the rest of the U.K. based party supply companies did for that special event, but they were picked apart item by item by the media.
The Middleton’s were asked to amend their website earlier this year when they sold game-themed goods that reflected the London Summer Olympics, which is another event strictly licensed for merchandise. “Britain’s Got Talent,” the TV show, accused them of illegally carrying its logo on their website.
It looks like the Middleton’s are under the microscope when it comes to their business, which seems to be the downside of being related to the royals. The upside of course is the world-wide fame the Party Pieces website has gained over the last couple of years. People from all over the globe recognize this business as belonging to Kate’s parents.
While this is true, the Middleton’s had the party planning business a major success before the royals ever entered into the picture. They lived very comfortably and sent their children to the best schools, so with or without the royal connection Carole and Michael Middleton would be a success story today.
Reference: Mail Online