When starting a new business, one of the most important things to do is build name recognition. An easy, if ethically questionable, way of doing this is to base your company’s name on an existing, more recognized brand, such as calling your new restaurant McBurgers, or your talent agency filled with only the most charming and pleasant-smelling individuals RocketGoodSmell24.
Of course, McDonald’s would probably put a stop to such a plan, even if you weren’t directly competing with them in the fast food market. In fact, the company would probably be all the more swift in dropping the hammer if you were setting up shop in an industry it wants to avoid any association with. For example, if you were a budding pimp and called your brothel McHumptown, you could expect an angry letter from the Golden Arches.
You know who else doesn’t like being connected to the skin trade? Denny’s, as three men in Japan who appropriated the restaurant’s logo for their sexual services company just found out.
On June 11, the Nagano Prefectural Police arrested Seiji Shiraishi, a 44-year-old resident of Ueda City. Arrested along with Shiraishi were two of his employees at the company “Deliy’s.”
Deliy’s, which started operations in May 2013, is in the line of business known in Japan as “delivery health.” That description may cause you to think Deliy’s has a roster of personal trainers or convalescent nurses whom they send to your door to help get you off the couch and into your running shoes, or perhaps that they have a fleet of trucks that drop off containers of tofu and wheat germ at people’s homes.
The truth isn’t quite as wholesome as any of that, however.
Delivery health refers to the practice of deploying women to a client’s home or hotel room, nominally for sensual massage and various sexual services. These skirt Japan’s anti-prostitution laws since full-on intercourse is ostensibly not offered, but seeing as how there are no authorities present when the deal goes down, there’s no way to confirm clients and providers aren’t doing the deed regardless.
▼ “I just want a massage!” is the “I just read it for the articles!” of the Japanese sex trade.
One thing that can be confirmed, though, is the logo that Deliy’s has been using.
▼ We have to deduct style points for the randomly capitalized L and odd i-y combination, but we doubt Deliy’s horny customer base is patient or pedantic enough to let such things bother them.
The top line of text reads, “The spot where men can blow off steam,” which is kind f ironic considering that part of the delivery health system is that the customer provides his own room. The bottom is simply Deliy’s written in Japanese script.
For comparison, here it is with the logo that belongs to Denny’s Japan.
We’d say that’s more damning evidence than lipstick on the collar. Apparently it’s good enough for the Nagano police, too, as they’ve arrested Shiraishi and his associates on suspicion of trademark violation.
We only hope that the full year Deliy’s and its logo flew under the radar hasn’t confused consumers too much.
▼ Remember, winking suggestively at your Denny’s waitress as you ask for “The Grand Slam” will get you neither breakfast nor laid.