Where social media has become such a prominent means of marketing and exposure, it has come as no surprise that Chanel is arguing trademark rights over the @chanel username. @chanel on Instagram is run by a Vancouver hairstylist, and has nearly 40,000 followers. Quite a following for a hairstylist. Could it be because of the infamous premium name?
All that is certain is that Chanel joined the Instagram game relatively late, in 2014, and began carrying out business as @channelofficial in lieu of @chanel being taken. However, after reporting to Instagram that the @chanel username actually caused confusion to consumers (especially with the hairstylist posting images and drawings of Chanel items), the Vancouver hairstylist was temporally locked out of her account.
It didn’t take too long, however, for the hairstylist to regain access to her account – which she still uses today. As for @chanelofficial, will confusion with this 20-something year old’s Instagram account really impact their sales? With 9 million followers, we’d argue otherwise.
Information derived from The Fashion Law.