Pho-to No No!

Four letter faux pas lands Australian restaurant in hot water following allegations of copyright infringement.



Four letter faux pas lands Australian restaurant in hot water following allegations of copyright infringement.

Ignite favourite Pho Restaurant took to Twitter this week in order to name and shame Melbourne based restaurant Mama Pho, for using their photos across several social media channels.

Pho’s head of marketing Libby Andrews contacted Mama Pho, requesting they remove the photos, taken by renowned food photographer Paul Winch-Furness.

But rather than apologise and comply, Mama Pho responded with the message “go f*** yourself. hahahaha”.

Understandably this has become a hot topic in the ignite office and we are astonished by Mama Pho’s brazen theft of intellectual property and their obvious lack of remorse.

Upon hearing the story I contacted Andrews and Winch-Furness for their thoughts on the situation. 

First from Libby:

“Initially it seemed lazy to me they were running a restaurant that, in this day and age, couldn’t be bothered to snap some shots of their food. Beyond that, their attitude toward the whole situation was appalling. I think (I hope!) this kind of thing is rare.

Paul, who is holding a photo-shoot at the Ignite office later this month, offered his thoughts on the matter:

“A restaurant should be born out of the desire to host, to share food and the experience of food – but they had just taken other restaurants’ photos of food to pass off as their own. I think that the most disappointing elements of the whole episode are that they took not only photos of food, but the food itself – they gave the impression that they were a restaurant.”


The very public shaming of Mama Pho that has followed this unfortunate episode has resulted in a deafening silence from the phonies, who have not responded to my request for comment.

I have also offered them some advice on handling negative online press and the opportunity to contact me should they require any of our digital marketing services. Let’s face it they need all the help they can get!

While I’m sure (sadly) that this isn’t the last time a similar situation will hit the headlines, I hope the story will act as a warning. We live in an age where you’re as likely to be prosecuted through trial by social media, than in an actual court and it’s arguable as to which is more damaging.

Restaurants, hotels or anyone else, who believe they can get away with copyright infringement or outright rudeness could do well to remember that.

(All images used with permission from Pho Restaurant)

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