Thursday, 12 April 2012

One Direction take two

It seems that the Simon Cowell's dream boy band, who just done remarkably well in the U.S., are in a spot of bother. Their name is already taken, and they are being sued by the original One Direction.

As the old One Direction say, they don't have anywhere near the resources of the X Factor runners-up, and I fully expect this case to be settled very quickly. But that's not really the interesting part of this story.

One Direction are pop at it's most manufactured: put together from entrants to a talent show (that they didn't even win) and backed by Simon Cowell's media empire. I recently read an article defending the reality TV show boss (essentially saying that, yes, he's not very nice, but that's what you need for success in pop and business, and he gets results), and I have to say I agree. I hate Simon Cowell's talent shows and quick-to-burn-out popstars, but he's a very effective businessman and deserves respect for that.

But this story is essentially a business problem, and a surprising error. How on earth, in our current internet age, did someone not find out that the name One Direction was already taken? For entertainment that survives as much (if not more) on marketing and business strategies as the music itself, this is a real error, especially given the tight ship Cowell normally runs. If the name, image, marketing, and related issues were considered to be secondary aspects then this would be more understandable, buy they're not - they're the most important drivers of (new) One Direction's success.

On the other hand, any publicity is good publicity, and this has put (new) One Direction in the news again. As long as the lawsuit is resolved quickly and relatively cheaply it's probably as much a positive as negative story. Someone's going to have to check their facts a bit more carefully on the next series of X Factor though...

One Direction could be forced to change their name after being hit with lawsuit | News | NME.COM

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