LONDON (Reuters) - Nissan said it would take legal action against the official campaign for Britain to leave the European Union after the group used the Japanese carmaker’s logo in leaflets calling for voters to back Brexit on June 23.
On one “Vote Leave” flyer, the firm’s logo appeared next to those of four other major companies including Unilever (ULVR.L) and fellow carmaker Vauxhall (GM.N) with the message: “Major employers ... have all said they’ll stay in the UK whatever the result of the referendum.”
Nissan, which says it would prefer Britain to remain in the EU, said it would be issuing legal proceedings on Monday in Britain’s High Court to stop ‘Vote Leave’ from using its name and logo and to “prevent them making any further false statements and misrepresentations concerning Nissan.
“We vigorously protect the Nissan brand and intellectual property in all markets in which we operate,” the firm said in a statement.
Vote Leave did not comment immediately when contacted by Reuters.
Nissan said earlier this month that it was considering legal action against the official campaign, a day after rival Toyota (7203.T) said it could also make a legal complaint.
On Monday, a spokesman at Toyota (7203.T) said the firm’s position had not changed.
Consumer goods maker Unilever (ULVR.L) has also complained to the “Vote Leave” campaign over the use of its name and logo.
On Monday, several carmakers repeated their calls for Britain to remain in the 28-member bloc, with tariff-less access to the single market benefiting major firms.
In a letter to staff, Toyota’s UK managing director warned that leaving the bloc would impose duties on cars of up to 10 percent, forcing the firm to either make cuts or raise prices, negatively impacting sales.
“If the UK leaves the EU, we think it unlikely that the UK can keep the current trading arrangements where there are ‘no tariffs or duties’,” Shigeru Teramoto wrote in a letter jointly signed by a British trade union official.
editing by William Schomberg and Louise Heavens