Amazon issues apology after demanding fishmonger pull Prime Day advert

An age-old phrase used by fishmongers has been trademarked by the multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, leading to attempts to suppress similar advertising.

Amazon has appologised for hiring lawyers to take action against a fishmonger over a copyright claim.

On June 21, the lawyers wrote to fishmonger Robin Moxon after he advertised “prime day boat fish” on his website and in front of his shops.

The lawyers from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius expressed concern on behalf of Amazon. They claimed that customers were “very likely” to confuse Moxon’s deal with its own ‘Prime Day’.

They stated: “Amazon appreciated your enthusiasm for its Prime Day; however, they want to make sure the Prime Day trademarks aren’t used in this way or by other brands.

“If we can get the references to Prime Day on your website, and anywhere else on your social media accounts where it may exist, pulled and your assurances on the above, we can consider this matter closed.”

Moxon called the firm to respond. He said: “I have used it and always will use it, and I don’t see how it can affect their business.

“This phrase was being well-used probably before Amazon existed in this country and before Jeff Bezos was a glint in his mother’s eye.”

The e-commerce king withdrew its request after this phone conversation. An Amazon spokesperson said: “This email was sent in error and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Moxon recalled asking the firm: “Are you taking the piss?”, after which Amazon realised its “error”. According to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Moxon explained “the root of the term ‘prime day boat’ in the context of the fishing industry”.

The fishmonger considered Amazon’s move to smother his advertising heavy handed and offensive.

He said: “This phrase has been used by many people probably for hundreds of years, and I’ve been using it regularly for 30 years.”

In the fishing industry, ‘prime day boat fish’ indicates to customers that a shop has high quality fish in stock. These fish are bought from trawlers that catch them for only a day at a time.

Amazon’s ‘Prime Day’ is a yearly event exclusive to Amazon Prime customers, where hundreds of items are put on offer for two days.

Robin Moxon is the owner of Moxon’s Fishmongers. He is based in London and has four shops and a factory producing smoked fish, fishcakes, fish pies and sauces.

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