- Australian influencer Ashy Bines has come under fire for releasing a hormonal supplement product with a similar name to an existing product released by a smaller Instagram creator.
- Fans of Tia Miers have flooded Bines’ comments with criticism for releasing a product with a similar name, purpose and design.
- Bines has defended the product by claiming it is an iteration on one of her existing products which existed prior to the release of Miers’ product.
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
A stoush has broken out between the followers of two Australian influencers after Ashy Bines was accused of breaching trademark law by another popular creator over a recently released hormonal supplement with a near identical name.
Queensland-based naturopath and Instagram creator Tia Miers told Business Insider Australia last week that her lawyers had contacted Bines and the company who produced her supplement, Morlife, about their new product.
Miers claims that Bines’ hormonal supplement ‘BALANCE by Ashy Bines’ was infringing on a trademark filed two years ago for her Balance Hormone Support product.
But Bines disputes Miers’ accusation, saying that her product is an iteration on her Balance Smooth Booster by Ashy Bines, which launched in 2017.
A spokesperson for Bines told Business Insider said they were aware of Miers’ product “in very much a general sense” prior to release, and complimented the naturopath’s Balance product.
“The market for this kind of product is competitive and there are many of us interested in addressing women’s needs in this specific area. Our aim is not, and never was to directly compete against Tia’s product. We are just one more brand venturing into this territory with our own particular blend,” they said in an statement.
Supplement company Morlife debuted Bines’ BALANCE products on its Instagram account on November 5.
While some users celebrated Bines’ new product in the comments on the post — which was also shared to her million Instagram followers — others noticed the similarities between the two product names, purpose, and even their designs.
People began to comment on Morlife’s Instagram post. “Shame on you guys!” one user wrote. Another commented “Disgraceful and typical Ashy Bines.”
Other social media commenters noted that other influencers have products with names that are variation on the common fitness term ‘balance’, including fellow creator Katy Hearn’s Alani Nu line of supplements.
Soon after the Morlife and Bines’ Instagram accounts responded to some of the comments.
“Im [sic] not sure on who she is or what she does so can’t speak on it. But I had BALNCE [sic] smoothie booster powders 7 years ago and would never claim someone copied me as the word balance so many people use and I’m sure everyone’s products are different […] I don’t look at what others are doing I focus on my mission and purpose and just like my app my balance powders are here to support women,” Bines responded.
Morlife then turned off comments on the post.
The day after, Miers posted an image of her product to her Instagram with a caption hinting at the brewing battle.
“feeling SO supported ???? thank you for all of your beautiful messages x,” she wrote to her 17,500 Instagram followers.
Miers told Business Insider Australia that she was feeling grateful for the messages after Ashy released a “very similar product to mine.”
“It is very disheartening when big companies copy small brands,” she said.
A representative for Bines said it wasn’t easy being on the receiving end of a backlash.
“It is just disappointing to engage with people that are not interested in learning all the facts to understand a situation in its entirety. I am however very fortunate to have the strong support of my family and friends to get me through those times,” they said.
Bines’ representatives said they planned to respond directly to Bines’ lawyers’ letter about the claim of trademark infringement.
“I prefer to communicate directly and always with the spirit of co-operation top of mind. I’m focused on achieving a solution that works for everyone,” they said.
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