An email sent to Robin Moxon, who owns four shops and a fish smokery in London, demanded the phrase was ‘pulled’ from Moxon’s website as customers could mistakenly think it was an Amazon offer.
But bosses at the retail giant were left red-faced as they were informed the term has been used by fish sellers for hundreds of years.
Mr Moxon says he ‘basically asked if they were taking the p***’ as the wording was around ‘before [Amazon owner] Jeff Bezos was a glint in his mother’s eye’.
The company’s lawyers wrote to Moxon’s on June 21 – when it kicked off Prime Day sales – telling him the ‘matter could be closed’ if he stopped using the phrase.
The letter said: ‘Amazon appreciates your enthusiasm for its Prime Day; however, they want to make sure the Prime Day trade marks aren’t used in this way or by other brands.
‘If we can get the references to Prime Day on your website, and anywhere else on your social media accounts where it may exist, pulled and your assurances on the above, we can consider this matter closed.’
Mr Moxon was vexed by the ‘heavy handed’ email as fishmongers have long used ‘Prime Day’ to advertise stock top-quality fish bought from trawlers.
The business owner made his feelings crystal clear in a phone call with Amazon representatives.
He said: ‘I basically said to them, “Are you taking the piss? This phrase has been used by many people probably for hundreds of years, and I’ve been using it regularly for 30 years”.
‘This phrase was being well used probably before Amazon existed in this country and before Jeff Bezos was a glint in his mother’s eye.
‘I have used it and always will use it, and I don’t see how it can affect their business. It was heavy handed and offensive.’
Amazon made a sharp U-turn after the phone call, admitting they were wrong to consider legal action.
Apologising ‘for any inconvenience’, an email said they had ‘clarified the root of the term “prime day boat” in the context of the fishing industry’.
A spokesman for Amazon said: ‘This email was sent in error and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.’
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