Own Goal Ciate, Own Goal.

So, a couple of weeks ago I posted a little rant about totally not getting the whole caviar nails craze. I wasn’t best impressed with Ciate in the first place for treating people as though they’re stupid enough to pay an extortionate £18 for a little bottle of pearls (although let’s face it, some people probably are), when you can quite easily get the same thing – in a greater variety of colours, might I add – for a few pence in a craft store or online.

I still think the bobbly beaded look is ugly as sin, but fair play to all the bloggers who’ve been recreating their own DIY purse friendly versions on their blogs. One of these bloggers was Anna, of Pretty Digits. It was brought to my attention by a post on Lucy’s blog that Ciate were getting their probably equally fishy knickers in a twist over people blogging about the super duper original nail look.

Anna, and several other bloggers for that matter, received an email from Ciate that reads as follows:

“It has come to our attention that you are using the mark caviar manicure and/or caviar nails in relation to a manicure product/method of manicure.
This relates to post on the 30th March ‘Caviar Nails Again’ as per link below:


Brand Agency Limited (Ciate) own the trade marks caviar manicure and caviar nails and we are in the process of applying to register these mark around the world.

Therefore you should not use the trade marks caviar manicure and/or caviar nails unless they are used in relation to products or to a method of using products that are produced by Ciate.

Please confirm once you have removed references to our trade marks from your website.”

WOW. Frigging really, Ciate?! After Anna posted this on her blog and was met with an instant uproar of bloggers rallying behind her, Ciate sent another email imploring that she “Please don’t feel offended by this email”, and that “the reason behind it was simply to protect the trademark and avoid any confusion from the point of view of our customers”. Oh cool! So not only do Ciate think that people are stupid enough to buy their ridiculous product, but they also think that these fools might be ‘confused’ by a blogger posting about their ‘trademarked’ idea. Which isn’t actually trademarked, by the way – it’s in the ‘process of’.

It’s all pretty rich coming from them, really, since the caviar nail look (and indeed the term ‘caviar nails’) was already showcased by Dashing Diva, a nailcare brand, over a year ago.

I hope Ciate realise what an epic PR fail they’ve committed. I know that I for one certainly won’t be purchasing any of their products in the future, for fear of never being able to blog about them(!). Seriously though, Ciate have never interested me as a brand, most of their polishes look pretty boring and this has pretty much sealed the deal for me that they’re just not a brand worth giving my money to. Ever.

What do you think about all this?

19 thoughts on “Own Goal Ciate, Own Goal.

  1. I’m right with you. I hadn’t as yet bought a Ciate product, and now I never will. It so bugs me when someone thinks they own the world and everything in it.

    I hope they like how they’ve bitten themselves in the butt.

  2. I agree with you completely, what a wrong move by Ciate. Maddy makes a valid point too with her comment. I’ve completely lost interest in ever buying Ciate products after reading this post.

  3. Oh dear. They probably don’t know how bad news are spreading when it comes to a bad move by a cosmetics company.
    Trademarking a manicure design? Seriously, Ciate?
    First of all, you don’t really have to be a genius to drop beads on your nails, you know. I bet that a bunch of bloggers have done something similar way before they put their product up for sale.
    Second, most of the posts I read about the caviar nails actually mentioned Ciate as the source of the idea.
    And this is exactly why I’m not planning on buying anything from Ciate.

  4. I don’t get why anyone would want to have bobbly nails but since they ripped off dashing diva in the first place you’ve got to wonder how they have the balls to then trademark it!

  5. this product just came to Sephora here in the US. I certainly wouldn’t pay $25 for microbeads i can buy in the craft store either and in light of this PR fail, I won’t support Ciate in the USA (and believe me, I LOVE NAILPOLISH – I have over 110 bottles).

  6. I sort of feel sorry for the marketing/PR people at Ciate for being this inconsiderate (<– my polite way of calling them stupid!). This is seriously the worst PR fail I’ve seen in a long time, they really underestimated the power of bloggers!

  7. OMG that’s shocking! Silly Ciate, they should have let it be, they’ve just made themselves look daft. Also, “caviar” nails is a horrid name – fish eggs, mmm yes please! :/

  8. I disagree, I think they have every right to say something like that to people copying.
    In my small business I have been on the receiving end of people copying a design/product of mine and some profiting from it and one offering it for free.
    I don’t think what they have asked is unreasonable.

    However if they have trademarked the name after another brand have used it before them, for the same nail design, then I think it maybe different???

  9. It’s definitely a bit of a PR mishap. In the beauty world it’s usually the case that there’s “nothing new under the sun” (e.g. ubiquitous crackle polish, identical magnetic polish, umpteen long-wear gel liners clearly all from the same factory) so unless it’s something truly original, marketing people’s task should be about making their brand synonymous with the trend, not the other way around.

  10. I found this in a google search for info about this new brand Ciate I keep seeing. Was trying to figure out what’s so great about it other than the caviar nails which is something I’ve seen in nail trade magazines for decades and never thought was pretty.

    In my own line of work, my copyright and original material has been stolen or copied many times across the web and it is infuriating. I also work with and grew up in a family of artists and know that it is important in this day and age to have legal protection for your creative intellectual property.

    That being said, I still find Ciates going after independent bloggers for expressing their own free speech and opinion is deplorable and has earned them one less buyer in me – and I spend hundreds of dollars on nail polish if I like it and like the company. Their follow-up apology/explanation doesn’t cut it either. It’s disingenuous and very clear it was their intention to scare first, and when that backfired only, to try to save face. Double yuck.

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