Marketing Action, the Symantec business partner responsible for. implementing a controversial franchise programme, has attempted to discredit its principle agitator in a bid to quell resistance to the scheme within ACT Vars.
It was understood that Marketing Action contacted the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) with information which alleged that leading ACT reseller Brown & Co was falsely claiming Plc status on its corporate literature and Website.
Symantec is facing a channel revolt - led by Brown & Co - after the vendor forced resellers to pay #50,000 to become ACT 4 certified consultants (PC Dealer, 8 April).
PC Dealer was sent a copy of the DTI's reply that confirmed Brown & Co does not currently appear on the register of public limited companies.
The letter stated: 'This constitutes an apparent breach of section 33 of the Companies Act 1985.'
A DTI representative said an offence of this kind carries a #1,000 penalty, with the possibility of a further fine of #100 per day while the offending company neglected to clarify its official status.
In a prepared statement, Gerry Creechan, MD of Marketing Action, said: 'Brown & Co "plc" does not seem to exist. In light of this apparent misrepresentation, I doubt we would be empowered to invite such an organisation to join the Symantec franchise programme, which intends to attract only the highest calibre applicants.'
Alan Brown, MD of Brown & Co, and Bruce Webster, MD of Business Critique International, met with Symantec EMEA VP Dieter Giesbrecht last week to express concern about the franchise scheme.
Sources suggested that Symantec agreed to consider 'significant compromises' with regard to the least popular elements of the franchise programme as a result of the meeting. Brown previously threatened legal action if the vendor's plan affected his business.
Brown, whose company has been signed up by ACT rivals, SalesLogix, declined to comment on the developments.
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