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Procompetencia pounces on Ebel over Paris allusions

Procompetencia -- Venezuela's National Antitrust and Unfair Competition Agency -- ruled on 21 May 2008 that well-known cosmetics company Grupo Transbel had engaged in unfair competition by running an advertising campaign that misled consumers into believing that there was a link between all goods bearing the mark EBEL and the city of Paris, thereby unfairly benefiting from the prestige of the French cosmetics and perfume industry.

Transbel had been using images of Paris in its advertising material, on its websites and in magazines. This, said Procompetencia, was unlawful, ordering that Transbel's 'Ebel Paris' campaign should be cancelled as being misleading and deceiving advertising. Transbel, who have lodged an appeal, was also ordered to pay a fine of approximately US$2.7 million [source: Mónica Granadillo, Estudio Antequera Parilli & Rodriguez, Caracas, writing in World Trademark Report].

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