Numericable ordered to pay damages to Free

A Paris court has ordered cable operator Numericable to pay €6 million in damages to telco Iliad Telecom/Free following Numericable’s launch of an advertising campaign for its mobile services that failed to divulge the name of the company behind the ads, according to a report by news provider BFMTV.

The case before the Paris commercial court hinged on a teaser advertising campaign launched by Numericable in 2011 with the tagline “the revolution in mobile begins on May 11” without revealing its identity.

Free filed a complaint and claimed €10 million in damages on the ground that the campaign broke French rules about the identification of the owner of a website or advertisement.

Free had earlier launched its own campaign promoting its new 3G mobile services. Free said that consumers could be confused about the use of the word ‘revolution’ which it had used to promote its own service for several months ahead of its launch in January 2012.

Numericable responded by arguing that Free could not appropriate the word ‘revolution’ and counter-claimed for €5 million for Free’s initiation of an abuse of legal procedure.

According to BFMTV, while ruling in favour of Free, the court did not endorse Free’s claim that Numericable’s IPO prospectus also broke the rules.