Saturday, 7 January 2017

A rather sad legal threat

In comes a rather sad legal threat about something we posted here four and a half years ago.

The post, from July 2012, related to a news story in Mmegi entitled "Stanbic, Barclays, FNBB win banking awards".

The article said:
According to World Finance, banks were judged on a variety of indicators including new and innovative services, smart partnerships, key financial ratios, pre-tax profits, real growth and steps taken to prepare for stricter banking regulations."World Finance's Banking Awards celebrate those who have capitalised rather than caved at times of high stakes," says a World Finance statement.
Our response was simple and you can see it here. I asked:
But how exactly are these "awards" awarded? Who selects the winners? Who checks that the companies are actually legitimate? Who makes sure they're not actually crooks?
Given the history of fake awards that so many companies proudly declare they've won, I think those are reasonable questions, don't you?

At the time I posted the comments, I also found a number of comments about the company that had given the banks these awards, World Finance. I mentioned that the Mirror in the UK had published accusations that World Finance had given awards to companies that turned out to be run by crooks. That story is no longer available on the Mirror site but you can see an archived copy of it here.

I concluded with this simple comment:
Before being impressed by a company winning an award you need to be very skeptical about the award. Ask some questions like "How exactly did they win it?"
Yesterday we received the following email headed "Cease & Desist notice":
To whom it may concern,

Please take down the following page on your website:

This is a defamation of our companies reputation & character.

If you have any queries about the authenticity of our awards feel free to contact me directly & I will answer any queries you may have.

Please remove the post within 28 days or we will have no choice but to instigate legal proceedings.

[Name removed] | Legal Assistant | World News Media Ltd
[Note: Any inaccuracies or grammatical errors are theirs, not mine.]

Note that they don't give any indication of how the comments might have caused their company any damage. They also don't repudiate or even deny any of the comments I made, they just resort to the usual response of "This is defamation" and they'll sue.

I will be going back to them and asking for some clues about how they feel they've been wronged.

Watch this space!

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