Government accused of pirating UK Online name

The growing shortage of decent Internet names and the Government’s increasing interest in the Net have propelled Prime Minister Tony Blair into an embarrassing conflict with one of his own cyber-advisers.

A company called UK Online (www.ukonline.co.uk), which claims to be the leading family-oriented Internet service provider (ISP), has expressed deep dissatisfaction and anger” at the Government’s announcement that it plans to launch an e-commerce initiative in the summer, to be called UK Online” (www.ukonline.gov.uk).

UK Online’s managing director Geoffrey Fenton says: “We agree with the Government that the UK needs to become more Web-aware, but using the name of an established UK Internet company is surely not the way forward.”

Grahame Davies, managing director of Easynet Group, owner of UK Online, adds: “UK Online has been established for many years and has a high reputation. We can fully understand why others may covet the name but we are outraged that the Government has chosen to do so without our input. Even the logo is similar.”

Easynet recently contributed to a Government think-tank on e-society. A Government spokesman told Marketing Week: “We wrote to Easynet and made it clear we would not be competing with them. There is minimal risk of confusion between a Government portal and an ISP.”

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here