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Tuesday, December 23, 1997 Published at 03:32 GMT



UK

Cashing in on Diana
image: [ Makers of Diana tributes have made unlawfully vague claims about donations to charity ]
Makers of Diana tributes have made unlawfully vague claims about donations to charity

Nearly four months after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, there is worldwide demand for memorabilia. However, some businesses producing and selling it stand accused of exploiting the late princess's name to make money.

The Charity Commission has already issued warnings to 20 companies about misuse of images of the Princess to sell souvenirs but says most were simply ignorant of the law and have now put things right.

At least five other firms, which have sold similar products, are being investigated by the commission for claiming part of their profits will go to charities associated with Diana.

These firms failed to make clear how much money will be donated to charity and to which causes the money will go. Making such vague promises about donating the proceeds of sales to charity is unlawful.

Several adverts recently carried by national newspapers also do not conform to charity regulations.


[ image: Adverts for porcelain figurines of the Princess have come under scrutiny]
Adverts for porcelain figurines of the Princess have come under scrutiny
Stuart Crookshank, of the Charity Commission, has dealt with complaints about magazine adverts for a porcelain figurine of Diana which say that a donation will be made in the buyer's name to causes that the Princess supported.

He said: "Diana supported a number of charities but it's not clear which ones the monies will go to.

"Equally importantly it doesn't say what proportion of the money paid for that particular figurine is going to those charities."

Some charity campaigners have said they want more active enforcement. The Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fund is taking legal action to limit the commercial use of her name and 24 approved images, and has started an aggressive worldwide policing campaign.


[ image: The demand for Diana memorabilia seems endless]
The demand for Diana memorabilia seems endless
Stephen Lee, from the Institute of Charity Fundraising Managers, said: "These companies, some of them very large companies, employ a number of lawyers or have legal advisers. And let's remember their motive is profit.

"I think they're beholden to make sure they comply with the law."

Most manufacturers of Diana tributes have now given or agreed to give some of their profits to specific causes and have drawn up written agreements with the designated charities as the law requires.

Tony Forbes, of Birchcroft China, said: "We have a business to run. We have our overheads to pay. And we have to make a profit on whatever we produce. I don't mind making a donation to the fund, but we still have to make some profits to run a business."








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