Monday, December 3, 2012

Tierney vs. Tierney

Most of you who read this blog are aware that Temple University is located right in the city of Philadelphia. Among many PR agencies that are also situated in the City of Brotherly Love is Tierney Communications. Originally, Tierney was started by its namesake, Brian Tierney. In 2003, Tierney (the person) left Tierney Communications, which was then taken over by current owner Interpublic Group of Companies.

Since then, Brian Tierney has moved on to several ventures, most recently, in 2010, he created Brian Communications Group. BCG is a PR and digital marketing firm located in the Philly suburb of Bryn Mawr. The "problem" with this is that under the BCG logo, the sub-head A Brian Tierney Company is featured. Tierney Communications has a big problem with this. According to an article by, the company "claims that Tierney and his new firm 'consistently misuse the 'Brian Tierney' name in order to unfairly compete against the Plaintiffs.'"

Tierney Communications claims that they own the domain name, but when users (myself included) type the web address into the web address bar, they are immediately connected to BCG's website. Interesting.

Tierney Communications is suing Brian Tierney for intentionally trying to confuse prospective clients in his favor. The company did send Tierney a cease-and-desist letter this past May, but received no response.

What do you think about this? Do you think Tierney Communications is right to file a suit against its namesake? Let us know!

1 comment:

Ann-Makir Magloire said...

This is a really interesting case. I have no idea what to think at first but at the end of the day the person's name is still currently "Brian Tierney" so shouldn't his name be allowed to move with him like himself the person. Hmmm. The TC has a problem of not wanting to change the brand and name perhaps but that may be what they have to do because they can't change history (they may bury it). I'm curious about what other people think.