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Theme parks: Merlin Entertainments look to Protect their Brand Franchise


Global visitor attraction operator, Merlin Entertainments (‘Merlin’) today put a marker firmly in the sand when it comes to how fiercely it will always protect its brands.   

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The company fired off a warning shot from its lawyers to the bergers of Calcutta in India who have just announced plans for a giant observation wheel as part of a major leisure development plan for the City – and who referred to it as the Calcutta ‘Eye’ in the announcement.   While there is currently no indication of who might build and operate this attraction should it materialise, unless this is Merlin itself then Calcutta will not be entitled to use the “Eye” name.  The ‘Eye’ is an observation attraction brand owned by Merlin in which the company has invested many £millions, and the goodwill of which Merlin jealously defends.

Commenting Glenn Earlam, Managing Director of Merlin’s Midway Operating Group – which includes the  company’s observation attractions like the EDF Energy London Eye, the Blackpool Tower Eye and the planned Orlando Eye, said:  “ The ‘Eye’ is exclusively Merlin’s brand globally.  It is an iconic name in which we have invested, and continue to invest significantly.   Like all our global brands it also represents Merlin’s expertise and competence; and most importantly it denotes a quality attraction which visitors should and can expect to find.   We therefore will not allow it, or any of our other brands,   to be used generically for commercial or promotional advantage to describe attractions over which we have no control.   Unauthorised use of any of our brands potentially damages both their reputation and that of Merlin as a whole, and we  will always take whatever steps are required to stop such use.      In the case of the Calcutta wheel, while in principle we wish the project every success, we trust the promoters will respect our rights and cease any unauthorized use of our “Eye” brand.”

 This is not the first time Merlin has been prepared to take legal action to protect is brands.  It has done so successfully several times in the case of the “Eye” around the world, as well as its other brands.

‘We value our brands and are very clear on this.  We will not tolerate any behaviour which undermines them or potentially brings them into disrepute.  We will therefore take immediate and very strong action if we ever see  this happen – with no exceptions.” concluded Earlam.


MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates over 74 attractions, six hotels/two holiday villages in 17 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 43.6 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 16, 000 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The EDF Energy London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Heide Park, Earth Explorer, Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World, Sydney Tower Observatory and Skywalk, Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter Underwater World, Oceanworld Manly and Hamilton Island Koala Gallery.  All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit for more information.

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