Franchise Uses Web to Defend Its Name

Why invest in a lawsuit to defend your business when you can use social media for free?

John DeHart, co-founder of Nurse Next Door in Vancouver, took up the latter strategy last month after a competitor allegedly defamed his elder-care company’s brand online, according to an article published on the website for the Financial Post, a Canadian newspaper.

DeHart and his business partner, Ken Sim, considered taking legal action but determined that the move would be too expensive and might take months or years to resolve. Instead, DeHart used his blog and Twitter to dispute the rival’s claims, which were posted on the rival’s own blog.

The Financial Post article doesn’t identify the company DeHart took issue with, but DeHart’s blog provides a link to blog post he found offensive, revealing the alleged offender as Eldercare Home Health of Toronto. While the post, which you can read here, doesn’t mention Nurse Next Door specifically, it states that some companies use the word “nurse” in their names despite not employing any registered nurses.

A spokesman for Nurse Next Door claims that Eldercare had also originally included in the post a photo of one of its branded company vehicles but that Eldercare later removed it. Nurse Next Door says Eldercare did so only after DeHart aired his opposing views online and sent the company an email complaining about it. A copy of that email — plus Eldercare’s reply to it – were forwarded to the Wall Street Journal to confirm the account.

In a phone interview, Lisa Wiseman, president of Eldercare Home Health, said she stands by the comments in her company’s blog post, adding that it doesn’t take aim at any business in particular. She declined to discuss the photo that had allegedly at one point accompanied the post. “When you say you’re a nurse, you have to be a nurse,” she said. “I’m an RN.”
A spokesman for Nurse Next Door said all of the company’s 41 franchises in Canada are either owned by a registered nurse or have one on staff.

2011-02-15T20:12:47-08:00February 15th, 2011|

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