“Scary” Attractions Head To Head In Court Case

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Perhaps piqued that attraction upstart the London Bridge Experience is based in actual catacombs with genuine claims to hauntings and macabre discoveries – we know, we’ve spent the night there – the company behind the more established but less plague pit authentic London Dungeon across Tooley Street are taking the small fry to court for allegedly acting illegally by copying their attraction and driving away trade.

Merlin Entertainment, the corporate behind the Dungeon, attempted to impose a 200m restriction on new rivals, the London Bridge Experience, to prevent them from advertising on the same patch but this would effectively have barred LBE from their own premises. When they refused to cooperate, Merlin whipped out the legal team.

Merlin clearly have some clout. Exit London Bridge Station and you’re straight into the interminable and unfathomable queues for the Dungeon, flanked by construction workers with gory wounds and other such pantomime. You’d be forgiven for not noticing the London Bridge Experience if you weren’t looking for it.

Given the tourist’s seemingly insatiable appetite for scary attractions surely there’s enough leisure pound to go round? Whatever, the London Bridge Experience needs public support to help them through this. Danny and Lee, the brothers behind the LBE who invested their life savings in realising this gory tourist dream, are in the process of putting together a petition – watch this space for more news.

Image courtesy of LBE.

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  • sallyannw

    These comments are very misleading. Merlin Entertainments has taken the unprecedented step of starting legal action against London Bridge Experience because we believe that the attraction has been transparently designed to mirror the London Dungeon’s concept and marketing positioning.

    Its location, just yards from the London Dungeon, compounded by its copycat marketing literature and promotional activity, are, Merlin feels, deliberately intended to confuse visitors and to unlawfully trade off the high quality, goodwill and reputation of Merlin’s own long established attraction.

    The legal action is also aimed at putting a stop to misleading and deceptive statements to, and interference with, visitors in the London Dungeon queue intended to divert them away from the Dungeon to the inferior attraction.

    Merlin has invested massive resources in creating the Dungeon concept over many years, and has built an enviable reputation for the brand, particularly amongst teens – a positioning which is quite unique globally.
    We invest heavily in creating a quality attraction and will therefore fiercely protect the goodwill in the brand.

    While the historical period covered by the London Bridge Experience is in some respects different to that covered by the London Dungeon, it looks to mirror the Dungeon concept in practically every other way – right down to its marketing and promotional materials. Merlin has considerable evidence that some visitors have been deliberately confused into thinking that the two attractions are related or even the same, something which is potentially extremely damaging to the London Dungeon brand, given the materially different quality of the two attractions.

    This effect could be compounded over coming weeks by the success of Merlin’s overseas marketing activity, and the consequent number of tourists wishing to visit the London Dungeon, for whom the likelihood of confusion is even greater.

    While Merlin believes in fair competition, the type of illegal activity the company has seen from the London Bridge Experience is totally unacceptable. An initial proposal for a consensual resolution having been rejected, Merlin felt it had no alternative but to put a stop to this behaviour through formal legal channels in order to protect its own brand.

  • Caspar

    Have to say I agree with Sall above.

    The London Dungeon has been where it is for a long time. It’s very well known and popular. Why open an almost identical attraction directly across the street?

    “You’d be forgiven for not noticing the London Bridge Experience if you weren’t looking for it.”

    Def have to disagree with that. The Experience is directly across the street from the tube station. If you go to London Bridge at lunchtime, you do see the queues for the Dungeon but you are also immediately blasted with sound from the Experience who are announcing themselves with loudspeakers.

    This article feels more like a advetorial for the Experience against the Dungeon to be honest :(

  • http://undefined Elle

    Well the the tombs are actually extremely different to the Dungeons so I dont see why the two cant run alongside each other. The dungeons aren’t actually scary, well maybe in a few places it makes you jump but you weren’t scared for longer than a few seconds. Also the Dungeons is a place for a family to go on a day out.
    However the tombs on the other hand is not meant for young children and the tombs part is actually meant to scare the hell out of you. Also the tombs covers different parts of history and in different ways to the Dungeons.
    Another point is that the tombs have a right to be there because it is a historical sight where the stories they tell actually happened right there. As for the dungeons they are about London in general and so they could be situated anywhere in the city.

  • Harrison

    well, my opinion is that the london dungeons are better than the london bridge experience because the london dungeons tells you more informantion.However………….the london tombs are freakin scary!!!!! im only 10 and i went in there with my mum and my brothere.the london tombs dated back to 1825 where they found 80 bodies.ITS SOOO SCARY.THE CHAINSAW GUY WAS THE WORST PART! Any way the london tombs is scarier, however the london dungeons is more entertaining.