Thursday, 28 February 2008

"Made In China" to "Made By China" is a long road

People copying things from other peoples websites is not a new thing. In fact it is quite common for phishing sites that make an exact duplicate of the paypal login page to try to steal usernames and passwords but sometimes I ponder why people would bother to copy something as trivial
as a flash intro. My company Avail Corporation has maintained a fairly ordinary website for the last three years. It serves it's purpose of listing the events that we are running and providing some contact information of our office in Asia.

I came across a competitor company that came up recently, purely because they decided to copy one of our successful brands, The Asian Tourism & Attractions Summit (Incidentally they named it the Asia Tourism Property and Attractions Summit....very clever) and found on one of their other events had actually plagerised our flash intro that can be found on my
company's website (you can go to to make a comparison).

When I first saw it I was annoyed and my mind went into China bashing mode. But then upon further consideration I realised that this was not a China problem but one of a particular company with little scruples that can be found anywhere in the world. I also saw the humour in what they did. My industry is one with comparatively low barriers of entry. To be a success in conferences you need to be creative, original and understand the markets that you are targeting. It is obvious that this China company that copied my flash intro is none of these things....I
will explain why.

Our flash intro was something that we did in 2005 simply because we were too busy to focus on making our website flashy. We hired a web design company to put the entire site together on a shoestring budget so that we did not have to create a new site for every event that we did. Simple and informative was what we aimed for. I think we achieved this but it was certainly not a site that would win any awards.

My company's catch cry is "It is not enough to must Hit!" simply meaning that planning to do something is not enough, you must actually succeed in your plan. On our flash intro we split that line up so that it starts with "It is not enough to aim.." shows you some images of participants at our events taking action to guarantee their success and then ends with " must Hit!" In typical non-creative, un-original fashion, with a lack of understanding of the meaning of the line, they managed to copy only the " must Hit!" part of the phrase, which by itself is meaningless and pretty much illustrates the quality and intelligence of their management. In fact, our flash intro is so simple that it probably took more time to copy ours than it would take to design their own and still managed to mess it up.

So on my part my lawyers have drafted for me a cease and desist letter that I have sent to them but in reality, It makes no difference if they change it simply because I give my clients credit for not being fools. In fact I challenge this company to knock off more from my site so that I can further illustrate to my clients that your company does not have the intelligence or business ethics to be original.

To my friends at the Institute of Global Leaders, I wish you the best of luck and hope that one day you may have something of your own that you can truly be proud of. Until then, there are many more conference companies with much better design features that you can rip off.