Forum: Cake Decorating Business

An old topic, but quite annoying!

We were recently visited by a local Trading Standards officer and told that we had to remove all the cakes from our website/FB/advertising that had any Disney/BBC/WB etc etc characters represented on the cakes. It’s quite frustrating as it feels like only a few people have been picked out locally, not all, and it doesn’t make a level playing field when other businesses are able to show any pics to show their versatility. It seems so ridiculous of course as we are such a small business and make tiny amounts of profit on such cakes, really no threat to these mega corporations – but it’s also a bit rotten that only a few small people are being picked out rather than a blanket ban on of these cakes for everyone.
Has anyone else had similar problems?

Facebook.com/happyhillscakes

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8 Replies

Jeanne Winslow ...

No problems, but I suspect this is going to happen more often as companies are forming departments to police their property. If you weren’t fined, you were very fortunate. They can be a hefty piece of change per infraction. More and more people are calling in the infractions. Because these companies want to make money on the sales of the little plastic characters, they are not going to let up on bakers. It is not worth your business to continue to display or sell the character cakes. It is up to your clients to get the permission in writing or settle for the plastic toys.

I spoke to the copy write attorney for Seseme Place 2 years ago trying to get permission to do an Elmo cake. They do not give permission for their characters either.

Jeanne

Happyhills Cakes ...

Thanks very much for replying. It’s interesting to hear that you think it may be a more general clamp down overall, it will be interesting to see what happens. It would be good to hear if anyone else has had similar situations. We were told to take our pics down by Jan, which we will, and to be honest they’re not my fav cakes to make anyway! But it just seems a bit galling when it’s only a few people being stopped and others are OK to just go ahead, it feels like there are Minions cakes everywhere these days :D
Thanks again for your input

Prima Cakes Plus ...

Happy Hill,
It may also just be that they have not found those other sites yet and will eventually find them and tell them to stop using their images.

There are so many cake decorators and sites out there I am sure it takes a long time for them to find all the the sites and issue a cease and desist.

Happyhills Cakes ...

thanks PrimaCakes, really helpful to hear more opinions

inspiratacakes ...

I am interested in this topic- as a new business I have put a blanket rule against doing character cakes for want of doing the right thing legally, but I will make a complimentary design for the customer to stick their own topper onto. I don’t mind this but I can see I could end up losing business to the person who will do it. I also see very big name cake designers doing character cakes so have they got permission? If so how?

Any help/clarity on this would be greatly appreciated it!

Perfect Party Cakes (Sharon Ward) ...

Is this in the USA or UK?

Perfect Party Cakes (Sharon Ward) ...

Is this in the USA or UK?

Happyhills Cakes ...

We’re in Ayrshire, scotland, uk. Infact North Ayrshire covers a small area and it was the trading standards guy for N Ayrshire that came to us, but he hasn’t been to everyone in our area, and like inspiratacakes says people could go elsewhere (in our case 10 mins away :D). Ideally everyone be stopped or not stopped. Also like you say many of the big cake makers (in uk too) display character cakes really prominently, I don’t know if they have permission- tho I suspect prob not in many cases as the trading standards guy that came here was quite young and I believe was acting on it as a pet personal project, rather than a general investigation across scotland and uk (which I don’t think there is)