Humourless Amercican insurance behemoth TravelersJ has launched a furious assault on tiny UK ‘insurtech start-up’ Brolly for borrowing its umbrella without permission.

Just as Islam forbids all non-divine representation of living creatures, TravelersJ claims an absolute monopoly on the depiction of umbrellas in an insurance branding context.

Regular readers may recall how, a few years back, UK insurance firm LAG (aka Legal & Genial) was forced to pretend that its familiar multicoloured branding device was in fact a beach umbrella or a parasol or something and therefore not in breach of TravelersJ’s umbrella monopoly.

Poor innocent Brolly obviously lacked the sophisticated legal advice that enabled LAG to sidestep the wrath of TravelersJ so cunningly – to the extent that its very name waved a metaphorical red rag in the general direction of the red umbrella corporation’s legal beagles. This clearly derivative logo only made things worse.


Rather than await the inevitable unleashing of the aforementioned beagles, Brolly has been quick to hoist the white flag of surrender and has turned to its customers (and ‘the public’ to bulk out the numbers a bit) to design it a new logo for free.

If you have any ideas on how to graphically encapsulate the brand identity of a modestly scaled app-based insurance broker, Brolly would love to hear from you – only do bear in mind that it must not in any way resemble a brolly – or indeed a parasol or a house on a stick or anything like that, probably, just to be on the safe side.

How would you go about sharing your creative suggestions with the people at Brolly? Simple: they’re using the hashtag #noumbrellas on twitter, along with people sharing anecdotes about not having any umbrellas.

Several design ideas have already been submitted, including this one from SSP, which appears to have confused brollies with something else ending in ies. Ah well…


In the meantime, visual references to umbrellas in an insurance context that TravelersJ may or may not wish to crack down on can be readily perused courtesy of the intellectual property lawyer’s best friend Google Images. There are so many of these that one might be forgiven for thinking insurance buyers’ main concern in life is that their house might somehow get wet. If you want to know if you’re in their sights, simply click here.

Alleged evil empire TravelersJ meanwhile have defended their heavy handed downshutting with the following statement, quoted in the press last week: ”We have one of the best and most recognisable brands in the world and take seriously our responsibility to protect its value.”

This contention sounds dubious, if not positively Trumpesque in its vacuously complacent self-congratulation. Are they seriously suggesting that the word Travellers (in italic caps, spelled wrong) with a red umbrella next to it is some masterstroke of brand identity?

What we say here at Bankstone News is probably best left unsaid given the litigious tendencies of certain humourless insurance firms who shall remain nameless.


This umbrella ain’t big enough for the both of us.


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