Lassonde Industries versus Olivia's Oasis Inc.
(5 pages of text)
La Presse, a French language newspaper in Montreal and the largest French language newspaper in North America, published an article summarizing the judgment of a trademark infringement case involving Lassonde Industries, a large Quebec conglomerate with sales of almost Cdn$760 million, and Olivia’s Oasis, a small Quebec manufacturer of health and beauty products with sales of Cdn$250,000. Initially, Olivia’s Oasis had successfully defended itself and it was awarded damages and costs by the courts. However, Lassonde appealed, which resulted in Olivia’s Oasis having to pay its own legal costs — a judgment that could bankrupt the small company. By the end of the day, thousands of readers and members of the public had reacted via social media with such vehemence that Lassonde felt pressured to pay Olivia’s Oasis’ costs. The issues are related to the management of a company’s reputation and the potential impact of negative public reaction in the long term.
- To illustrate the role of social media in the business environment.
- To sensitize students to the need to anticipate possible public reaction to a company’s actions.
- To illustrate the role and power of opinion leaders in the social and business environment.
- To illustrate the wisdom of organizations acting swiftly and openly in the face of public criticism.
The case is designed to be used in e-marketing, social media marketing or a regular marketing course where the module deals with branding and company reputation. It could also be used in a marketing communications course.
Canada, Large, 2012
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