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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (259 Articles)










 

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Jewellers misusing association logos?

Following the misuse of affiliation logos on a raft of jewellery websites, Jeweller asked prominent local and international industry associations what selection criteria businesses have to fulfil to use their logo.
The matter came to a head last year when Diamond Exchange had its Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) membership revoked. Diamond Exchange was subsequently placed in liquidation and the company’s business, including website, was sold in January. The new owners of Diamondexchange.com.au then relaunched the website which still featured the JAA imprimatur.

The JAA was forced to act on the improper use of the JAA logo and Diamondexchange.com.au removed it last month. At the same time the Gemmological Association of Australia (GAA) also sought the removal of its logo from Diamondexchange.com.au.

Jeweller has since discovered it is not the only website to be found using affiliation logos without proper consent and/or the incorrect logo. For example, the JAA has a “JAA Member” logo that is different to the standard JAA logo and is designed specifically for businesses to signify their membership to Australia’s peak industry body.

The website of Thomas Jewellers features the logos of JAA, GAA and National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV) but the JAA confirmed that Thomas Jewellers is not a member of the JAA.

Another jewellery website, Australiandiamondimporters.com.au, features a number of industry logos. The website correctly uses the JAA member logo and a spokesman for the company, Apkar Ervan, said he had permission to use the logo of the Sydney-based laboratory, GSL but was unsure if he had formal approval to use the GIA logo.

In another example, wholesaler Geelong Diamond Company currently has the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and HRD Anterwp logos under its ‘About Us’ section. GIA administration director Kim Cino told Jeweller the GIA was investigating the use of the logo by Geelongdiamondcompany.com.au, because the organisation does not permit any third-party use of its logo.

Jeweller sought comment from Geelong Diamond Company but was told it’s under no obligation to respond.

Following recent instances of unauthorised use, the JAA has become more vigilant and has started taking a stronger line against businesses illegally sporting their logo. However, JAA chief executive Ian Hadassin conceded that it’s difficult to monitor websites due to a lack of resources.

“All we can do is contact them and get them to remove our logo from their website if they’re illegally using it. The JAA is not a watchdog and we have to rely on consumers and other members to tell us if something is wrong,” Hadassin said.

The GAA too said its members, associates and other trade bodies had notified it in the past when certain unauthorised companies were using its logo.

GAA federal secretary Katherine Kovacs said, “Having a good network of concerned individuals keeping their eye out really is our best defence.”

The National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV) relies on a similar system to bring to its attention when a business has misused its logo.

NCJV’s national management committee said that the proliferation of websites has actually simplified the task of monitoring logo usage. “As websites are public forums and easily accessible, it is far easier to check as opposed to any other forum,” the NCJV said.

Hadassin also explained it is important that the JAA logo appears correctly on websites to protect JAA credibility.

Similarly, the NCJV said it carefully monitors the usage of its logo to avoid any erosion of its brand value.

“In our experience, the logo now has a significant brand value because when it is misused, people are reluctant to give up use of it,” the NCJV said.

While Jeweller’s investigation has discovered a number of websites improperly using third party logos, either deliberately or unknowingly, last October Australian auction site Diamond Bidz was taken to task by the GAA over wording on its website.

At the time Diamondbidz.com.au stated it was “affiliated with the Gemmological Association of Australia (GAA)”, yet is not allowed to do so, according to Kovacs. “The GAA is not actually affiliated with any business so it would be incorrect for anyone to state such a thing,” she said.

NCJV
NCJV

The wording was subsequently removed and Diamondbidz.com.au has since been taken offline “for maintenance”.

As one of the world’s leading industry bodies, the GIA in particular has stringent controls concerning how other entities use the name and corporate identities.

Cino told Jeweller, “GIA encourages third-party use of the GIA name in an effort to educate and protect consumers, or as a means to promote one’s academic achievements.”

She added, “With this in mind, we have developed a series of icons to help third parties use GIA’s name in an appropriate fashion.”

The GIA website states that anyone is “free to make truthful and factual textual references to GIA” as long as the references do not cause confusion, mistake or deception.

The HRD’s marketing manager, Jennie Baeten, said, “It is very important to protect our brand identity and corporate logo. Since 2007 HRD Antwerp has an application and approval process for third parties in order to give permission to use the HRD logo. When approval is given a contract will be made and signed by both parties.”

Industry associations’ selection criteria

Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA)

1.    Business must be a JAA member. Importantly, the business entity itself must be a member as opposed to individual shareholders or partners.

2.    Business must abide by the JAA Code of Ethics and Code of Practice.

3.    Business must abide by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

4.    Business must only use official JAA member logo.

Gemmological Association of Australia (GAA)

1.    Applicant must be a gemmologist who has obtained his or her qualifications through the GAA.

2.    Applicant must be a current financial member of the GAA.

3.    Applicant must either substantially control or be a director of the company that will be using the GAA logo.

4.    Applicant must tell the GAA how they and the company intend to use the logo.

National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV)

1.    Applicant must be a financial registered valuer who is the sole business owner.

2.    Applicant must complete an application to both display the logo and use it and then submit it to the relevant state division for consideration. This must be done annually.

3.    Applicant must provide details on the application forms as to where exactly the logo will be placed and its use.

4.    Applicant must provide proof of holding current Private Indemnity Insurance.

Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

The GIA does not permit third-party use of its logo, but it does encourage the use of its name. With this in mind, the association has developed a series of icons such as “Learn more about GIA” and “GIA Alumni Association”. Guidelines for usage, as well as the graphics for these icons, can be found on the GIA website.

HRD Antwerp

Applicant must go through an approval process to use the corporate logo of this Antwerp diamond certification organisation. Contact: jennie.baeten@hrdantwerp.be

More reading:

Diamond Exchange website goes live again

Diamond Bidz open or closed?










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