A woman has accused high street retailer H&M of stealing a design from her hometown and using it as a part of their home collection.
When Tori LaConsay took the time to paint a sweet message on a neighbourhood sign she had no idea a lookalike design would end up plastered over merchandise on the retailer’s website.
In December 2008 Tori, from The East Village neighbourhood in Atlanta, Georgia painted ‘You Look Nice Today’ with a love heart on one side of a road sign so people could see it as they travelled past.
Unexpectedly, Tori received messages from friends recently with links to the UK H&M website showing her design on doormats, pillowcases and towels with no accreditation.
H&M Home launched in Sweden, Germany, Finland, Austria and the Netherlands in 2009, it was introduced to the UK 2010.
Tori told regretsy.com that her painting was an act of appreciation for her town and the people that she lived in it with. She said: “It was a small gesture that I genuinely hoped would make my neighbours feel good.”
She emailed H&M with a complaint but they dismissed her claims with the following response:
“We employ an independent team of over 100 designers. We can assure you that this design has not been influenced by your work and that no copyright has been infringed.”
According to regretsy.com, H&M originally posted a message on their Facebook wall apologising for the intention it may have created and said copying is not tolerated in their business. They claim they were inspired by a variety of text messages and created something from that in a similar font. The post can be seen here.
Her friend also sent in complaint to H&M’s customer service and received an unhelpful and abrupt response.
Tori’s friends then took to the H&M Facebook page to express their thoughts about the alleged copies of ‘You Look Nice Today’ design appearing on the website but they say the comments were quickly removed after emerging on the H&M wall.
Responding to the complaints, H&M posted a message to say that they were in contact with Tori and their post received hundreds of comments and ‘likes’ from users.
H&M removed the items from their e-commerce website and posted a further statement on their Facebook page on the 25 January saying: “We are very sorry for our customer service team´s reply, it is very unfortunate and we apologize for it. We are in contact with Tori LaConsay and will continue the dialogue with her directly.”
What do you think of this situation? Is this inspiration or is this a case of copy cat? Let us know below.
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