AthenaStudies changes logo in WhatsApp ‘study groups’ after warning from UG

Exam training company AthenaStudies has changed the profile pictures in various WhatsApp groups after a warning from the UG. 

After a report from UKrant, the university sent AthenaStudies a summons, essentially a warning, to cease their illegal use of the UG logo. Less than a day later, several group chats changed their profile picture from the university’s logo to a generic picture.

Product placement

In late January, UKrant found out that the company, which sells summaries and exam training at steep prices, was using group chats to advertise itself. 

These groups, with names such as ‘UG law year 3’ and the UG logo for a profile picture, appeared to be regular WhatsApp study groups by and for students. The only difference was that the administrators for the groups were students working for AthenaStudies. The regular group members were not informed of this. 

The group administrators would post scripted responses to recommend the company and sell as many training sessions and summaries as possible. The administrators would also delete links to free study materials and remove the people who shared those links from the groups.

Surprised

The UG was surprised to find out what had been happening. ‘These companies aren’t allowed to use our logo for commercial purposes. It’s copyrighted’, a spokesperson said at the time. ‘Whether you’re selling a sweater with our logo on it or advertising your services in a group chat – you’re not allowed to make money off it without our permission.’

The university sent the company a warning: stop using our logo illegally, or we’ll have to take legal measures. In the meantime, it looks as though the company complied at least in part with the summons. Whether it will actually change its methods remains to be seen. 

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