COMPANIES that exploit Remembrance Day by selling poppy-themed jewellery without sending any money to military charities could face legal action.
The Royal British Legion says its lawyers are looking into potential breach of copyright over poppy pins and broaches being sold on Amazon. The Sunday Express found a number of sellers on the website selling special “Remembrance Day” collections to “remember our heroes”, even though nothing is donated to the Royal British Legion cause. Two separate companies – Comficent and Bling Stars – were both selling broaches and pins, describing how they honour those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, potentially leading customers to believe they are helping much-loved charities.
Further investigations found these companies were actually based in Shanghai and do not give a penny to the cause.
A spokesman for the Forces charity confirmed that its representatives were looking into the items we showed them, with a view to launching legal action to “at least” get them taken down from sale.
Eloise Smythe, a poppy seller from West Sussex, said: “It’s horrendous and really deceitful. They are not being totally honest. They are taking the money of people who want to show their support.
“There needs to be a crackdown because it isn’t fair.”
In one of the Comficent adverts a “crystal red Remembrance Day Poppy broach” is described as a “perfect gift for friends”.
Bling Stars promotes one of its products as a “poppy brooch Remembrance Day enamel pin”. The sales description reads: “This poppy flower brooch is the memorial for World War One, but you can also wear the poppy brooch to various parties, weddings, Veterans Day, Remembrance Day, Memorial Day, celebrations and so on.
“A perfect gift for friends…that will make your fashionable dreams come true.”
Jason Moore, from Hampshire, a member of the Legion for the past 15 years, said: “My grandad served in the Second World War and this is an insult to his memory.
“The work the British Legion does year-on-year is magnificent and the fact these companies are trying to make a buck shows how disgusting they are. Why aren’t they being shut down?”
Charm company Chamilia, which sells in high street stores such as Ernest Jones and H Samuel, is currently selling a red poppy charm for £20 – with none of the money going to charities – that remember our war heroes past and present. A spokeswoman told our reporter that they “never said they were donating in the advert” so they “don’t see the problem”.
Comficent and Bling Stars did not respond to our requests for comment. An Amazon spokesman confirmed it is investigating the sellers.
A Royal British Legion spokesman said the Amazon items looked to be copyright infringements on both Poppy Scotland, which uses four petals, and also on the British Legion flower, above, which uses two.
A spokesman said: “We have legal teams looking into these items now with a view to getting these items removed from sale.”