“Live a little”: Kogan goes pink after Kiwi legal letter


Kogan chief executive officer Ruslan Kogan.

What’s in orange? Turns out, quite a bit if you’re in the telecommunications game, as two companies tussle over territory on the colour wheel.

Kogan has changed the palette of its new telecommunications website in New Zealand after its competitor across the pond kicked up a fuss over the colour scheme. 

Auckland-based Spark, owner of mobile plan provider Skinny, sent Kogan a legal letter earlier this week, alleging its use of the colour orange on the recently launched Kogan Mobile in New Zealand website breached the country’s fair trading rules.

Skinny also uses an orange and white colour scheme on its own website, prompting the company’s lawyers to inform their new competitor they reserved the right to take legal action.

“It seems clear that the Kogan NZ website reflects a deliberate design choice to adopt the brand attributes which consumers associate with Skinny in New Zealand,” the company said in a letter shared by Ruslan Kogan on social media.

“This conduct is likely to mislead and confuse consumers in the discount mobile market and may cause them to conclude that the respective mobile services are the same or have a commercial association.”

Kogan’s previous website (top) and Skinny’s website (bottom).

Sass in hand, Kogan shot back a letter of its own, telling Spark it had replaced all orange on its site with hot pink.

“You say you’ve been using the same orange and white writing for five years. Really? C’mon, mix it up a bit. Live a little,” Kogan’s Mobile team said.

“We really appreciate you looking out for us and ensuring that no customers may confuse our incredible offers for something lacklustre. We expect prices and the deals we offer Kiwis to speak much louder than any colours we use, and we doubt anyone could have confused our offer with yours.”

“We didn’t use high paid lawyers to write a long response,” the letter concludes. “We prefer to save a bit of money.”

In a statement, Spark said it considers the matter resolved after Kogan changed its colour scheme.

“The look and feel of this was extremely similar to Skinny’s own marketing materials and to our knowledge Kogan do not use this orange colour in Australia in the same prominent way,” the company said in an emailed statement.

“Kogan has since changed the colour so from Skinny’s perspective the matter is sorted at this point.”

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