Small Town, Big Fight: The Battle Over ‘Gold’ in Radio Branding

In the quaint town of Felixstowe, a small volunteer-run radio station, Fresh Gold Radio, finds itself in the crosshairs of legal action from the powerhouse, Global Media and Entertainment. The bone of contention? The use of the word ‘Gold’ in its logo and branding, which Global claims infringes on its trademark.

Fresh Gold, a labor of love for its volunteer team, received a letter from Global’s legal representative, warning them that their use of ‘Gold’ could confuse the public and damage Global’s extensive brand. The letter demands Fresh Gold Radio cease using the term in any branding, strapline, or logo, and even in their domain name.

Barry Garnham, the station’s studio coordinator, fired back, accusing Global of “bully boy tactics” and “high brow intimidation.” In a nutshell, Fresh Gold, with no directors, shareholders, or deep pockets, is being summoned by a radio giant to rebrand, and they’re not happy about it.

The Backstory: A Tale of Local Passion

Fresh Gold Radio, more of a hobby than a moneymaking venture, has been serenading Felixstowe since 2012. Initially broadcasting from the front room of a nephew’s house, the station survives on a few hundred pounds a year from sponsors, covering licenses, insurance, and repairs.

Garnham expressed his confusion over the sudden legal stance, especially considering they’ve peacefully coexisted for over a decade. He even presented a list of 21 radio stations, including Fresh Gold, with ‘Gold’ in their names, questioning why they’re only now under the legal microscope.

The David in This David vs Goliath: Fresh Gold Radio

Fresh Gold isn’t your typical radio station. It’s a small, locally cherished endeavor that operates on a not-for-profit basis, offering joy and fulfillment to its presenters, much like a weekend fishing trip or a round of golf.

Garnham, perplexed by the timing of the legal action, suggests that instead of shelling out for legal fees, Global should contribute to Fresh Gold’s rebranding fund. For him, this feels like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, with the big boys targeting the little one for reasons unclear.

“If they could show me that they have suffered loss or we have nicked some advertisers, then I would have some truck with it, but I can’t see why that is?” Garnham ponders.

The Legal Angle: Trademarks, Passing Off, and Confusion

On the legal side, Global claims that Fresh Gold’s use of ‘Gold’ in a similar domain creates confusion, potentially harming their brand and constituting the tort of passing off. This is a classic case of a corporate giant protecting its turf against a smaller entity that might, inadvertently or not, ride on its brand recognition.

While Global flexes its legal muscles, Fresh Gold Radio, lacking the financial artillery, questions the logic and timing of the assault, emphasizing their long-standing existence without apparent issues.

Conclusion: A Radio Rumble or a Call for Harmony?

The battle lines are drawn, with Fresh Gold Radio standing its ground against what it perceives as a corporate overreach. The local station, a beacon of community engagement and volunteer passion, hopes for a resolution without resorting to a legal slugfest.

As the legal ping-pong unfolds, the fate of Fresh Gold Radio hangs in the balance – will David prevail against Goliath, or will harmony find a way in this radio ruckus? Stay tuned for more updates on this unlikely clash of the airwaves.



  1. Olivia Schmidt Avatar
    Olivia Schmidt

    It’s disheartening to see a small community radio like Fresh Gold Radio facing legal pressure from Global Media. Barry Garnham’s call for a contribution to a rebranding fund instead of legal action makes sense for a station surviving on a modest budget. The timing of this legal battle and the apparent lack of harm to Global’s brand raise valid questions. In this David vs. Goliath scenario, one hopes for a resolution that preserves the community spirit without a prolonged legal battle. The fate of Fresh Gold Radio hangs in the balance, and we await updates on this unexpected clash of the airwaves.

  2. Tim J Wincer Avatar
    Tim J Wincer

    I think it’s madness how Gold FM can be putting such pressure on a radio station with a few thousand listners can be effecting a station such as Gold FM with probably millions of listners if that is the case then Mr Garnham must be doing a fantastic job. Why can’t they just leave alone this small seaside Radio Station that I believe has been broadcasting for some ten years now and they have only now spoken up about the word Gold being used in the name in my eyes its disgusting.

    Tim Wincer

  3. Lyn Chant Avatar

    I love fresh gold radio, it is truly the sound track of my life 😍

  4. Terry Willis Avatar
    Terry Willis

    FGR gives something Gold can never do, and that is having a fresh playlist and not the same old same old.
    Shame on you Global.

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