It’s a case of clever sports memery meets how not to manage your brand’s online reputation.
A 28-year-old soccer fan has turned michelinguides.com into something completely different from the Michelin Guides recommendations books — and the company is none too happy.
The story starts with Englishman Adam Mascall, who saw the domain was available and bought it for just $9, according to a recent Sun report. But his site, unlike the famous French guidebooks, isn’t anything about restaurant recommendations or where to find the best flambé.
Mascall’s take is “Michel in Guides,” referencing Michel Platini, a former French soccer star and current head of the Union of European Football Associations. It superimposes Platini’s face into a series of situations involving guides — you know, like survival guides, travel guides and “Girl Guides,” a Girl Scouts-like organization. Here are a few examples:
The Michelin Guide brand is pretty ticked off, however. It sent Mascall a legal warning, and a spokesperson to the Sun that “While we appreciate the amusing nature of the website, we have to do everything possible to protect the Michelin brand.”
Mascall told Mashable he couldn’t talk about the legal issues, did have this to say in an email:
I just want to say i have the utmost respect for the Michelin brand and what they do.
My website is nothing to do with what they do. I am giving the world what it wants and right now that is Michel in guides.
There are future plans that I can’t go into right now.
I just hope everyone can be a part of this and together we can share a unique experience.
Do you think Mascall should have to give up michelinguides.com, or is this a case of finders-keepers? Give us your take in the comments.
All images via michelinguides.com