The US Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) has been awarded $750k (£538k) in damages for “deceptive advertising practices” by an unaffiliated travel agency that offered hotel rooms to attendees of its annual conference.
A court in Georgia ordered travel agency Tarzango to pay damages and fees for infringing USPOULTRY’s trademarks around its annual conference, the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE).
Under the guise of representing IPPE, Tarzango sent unsolicited emails to exhibitors and delegates offering hotel accommodation – despite being unaffiliated with the conference.
John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY, said: “We, with the full support of our partners AFIA and NAMI, asserted our rights and have protected attendees and exhibitors from Tarzango’s unfair and deceptive practices.
“This decision should serve as a strong warning to those service providers who seek to trade off of the strong goodwill developed in IPPE.”
The case highlights room poaching scams, which affect more than 15 million hotel bookings per year in the US, according to the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).
CIMGlobal views are that such practices are quite popular in the Asian market and unknowingly it is damaging the reputation of destinations, organizers, and hotels itself. A collective measure considering a long-term view is the need of the hour for all stakeholders.