UK: Gallup Sues Management Consulting Group, PLC Subsidiary For Six Counts of Trademark Violations
Last Updated: 23 November 2004

Use of False Research Alleged

(Omaha, Nebraska, USA-November 22, 2004) - The Gallup Organization today detailed a lawsuit filed against Proudfoot Consulting, a subsidiary of Management Consulting Group, PLC (London: MMC), charging them with international theft of its valuable and unblemished reputation for accuracy and reliability in surveys, public opinion polling, and business management consulting services.

The six-count lawsuit alleges that Proudfoot’s recent advertising and promotion for its 2004 business "Productivity Study," refers to a "Gallup Opinion Survey" and a "Gallup Telephone Survey" that, in fact, Gallup never conducted. Filed in United States District Court in Nebraska, the lawsuit charges that Proudfoot, a Management Consulting subsidiary, deliberately included these Gallup references an effort to, "bolster the credibility of [the] Productivity Study through an unauthorized use of the Gallup mark to create a misleading association with Gallup’s internationally recognized goodwill and reputation" in the trade.

"People trust the Gallup name. This is a blatant attempt to bolster a marketing campaign by misappropriating our trademark and trading off the reputation we have built for more than 70 years," Gallup General Counsel, Steven D. O’Brien said. "To have Proudfoot, or any other organization, use our name as part of an effort to sell their product is just plain wrong. And it is extremely harmful to our reputation for accuracy and independence.

The suit charges that "Proudfoot’s decision to use the Gallup mark in connection with [its] Productivity Study was done with the intent to capitalise upon the fame and recognition of the famous Gallup markets, and the associated credibility, reliability, and goodwill." The lawsuit also makes clear that Proudfoot "knew or reasonably should have known that the distribution, promotion, and use of [Proudfoot’s] Productivity Study under a Gallup mark…would create the likelihood of confusion among consumers…and would dilute the distinctive quality of the Gallup mark."

In addition to trademark infringement, the lawsuit charges Proudfoot with unfair competition and false designation of origin, unjust enrichment and federal dilution of the Gallup brand.

Gallup is seeking a court order to: enjoin Proudfoot from continuing to use the Gallup name in connection with the Productivity Survey; compel the removal of all references to Gallup and the Gallup trademark from any survey, website, brochure, newsletter or any other advertising or marketing materials in connection with Proudfoot; destroy all current materials that illegally refer to Gallup; force Proudfoot to correct its advertising and marketing to disclaim any association with Gallup and to reach out to as many recipients as possible who received the initial, incorrect information; and for treble damages as provided for under U.S. federal law.

About The Gallup Organization

The Gallup Organization has studied human nature and behaviour for more than 70 years. Gallup employs many of the world's leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology. Gallup performance management systems help organizations increase customer engagement and maximize employee productivity through measurement tools, coursework, and strategic advisory services. Gallup’s 2,000 professionals deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, at Gallup University’s campuses, and in 40 offices around the world.

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