One of Iceland’s largest construction supplies companies, BYKO, is accusing its main competitor, Húsasmidjan, of copying their newly launched ad campaign called “Price Protection”.
BYKO planned to launch its new campaign today. Húsasmidjan placed ads in two dailies yesterday.
The ads are similar in structure and wording. Both newspaper ads entail a “letter” signed by the CEO. Both ads had “Price Protection” slogans and logos. The idea behind both “Price Protection” campaigns is the same – if customers discover that a product they have purchased is priced lower with another vendor they have the right to be reimbursed within 20 days and also receive 20% of the price difference.
Ásdís Halla referred to the alleged copying of BYKO’s ad campaign as “sad way to do business”.
According to the Icelandic National Broadcast Service, RÚV, the creators of BYKO’s ad campaign, ad agency Gott Fólk, sent out an announcement yesterday accusing Húsasmidjan of stealing the ads. Gott Fólk is considering pressing charges.
Steinn Logi Björnsson, CEO of Húsasmidjan, and former SVP of Icelandair, denies any wrongdoing and calls the accusations “incredible”.
BYKO CEO Ásdís Halla told Morgunbladid that “competition has been tough and it is likely that it will get even tougher, but before anything else I hope that people will be honest and ethical in their business dealings.”
Baugur owns 45% of Húsasmidjan. Last February, Hannes Smárason, CEO of FL Group, purchased a 18.3% stake in Húsasmidjan. The owner of BYKO is Hannes Smárason’s former father in law Jón Helgi Gudmundsson. While married to Jón Helgi’s daughter, Hannes Smárason served on the board of directors of BYKO’s holding company Norvík, but left in early 2004 after he and his wife separated.