A used Mini store in Scotland is battling BMW with emojis and a sense of humor.
The fight began after Bridgend Motor Group opened Mini World, a showroom specializing in the tiny British cars, in December. Someone tipped off BMW, Mini’s German parent company, which forbade Bridgend from using the word “Mini” on its signage. The store first tried crossing off the brand’s name and logo while airing the dispute in the court of social media.
“Apparently, we’re not allowed to use the word MINI when we’re trying to sell used Minis,” Bridgend wrote on Facebook. “Not on our signs, our flags or our website. We’re not even sure if we’re allowed to think the word now! They were so stern about it.
“Anyway, we are sincerely sorry for our genuine mistake and for the avoidance of doubt, we sell used Minis, and are definitely not a MINI dealer. We’re much cheaper!”
When that didn’t appease BMW, the store covered the “M” with a variety of face emojis and began calling itself “iNi World.”
It also added notes on its signs telling passersby to “follow the story” on social media, suggesting that it’s enjoying the attention.
“We never thought it would be an issue, a relatively small local family-run business specialising in used Minis in a small town like Kilmarnock,” Sales Manager Mark Hawthorn told the Daily Record. “How many more used Mini specialists are there in the UK? Which I am sure will also be using the word Mini.”
A BMW spokesperson confirmed to the newspaper that it had asked Bridgend to stop using the Mini name and logo because it was not one of the brand’s authorized retailers.