We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Porn site reveals too much for BMW

Car company coy about its image on the web

BMW is trying to clean up its act on the web. The German car maker sent a letter of complaint to an adult search engine based in the Netherlands, asking it to remove references to its cars that appear in search listings for adult content.

The search site, AskJolene.com, lets users search for keywords, such as the name of a porn star, and produces links to picture galleries hosted on other sites. It is like a risque sister to AskJeeves.com, although the two are not related.

A search for BMW produces eight gallery listings. One shows a woman tied up on the hood of a car being sprayed with a hose. Another includes a story about a woman who tries a "dating" service and is whisked off by a man in a BMW.

The car maker has objected that its trademarks are being infringed. Including its name in the listings is "detrimental to the distinctive character" of the BMW brand, the company said in the letter it sent Monday. It gave the search engine two days to remove the listings and block access to the offending galleries.

AskJolene was considering its options Wednesday. Complying with the request means its search results would "not be 100 percent legitimate," said marketing chief Mike Schwalbach. It could also set a precedent affecting other search engines, he said.

"Our lawyer is investigating the best options and we will take his legal advice," he said.

BMW confirmed that it sent the letter but declined further comment. It may be heartened to know that it is not the most popular car maker among pornographers: searching for Porsche at AskJolene produces more than twice as many hits.


IDG UK Sites

Where to buy iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the UK: Launch day price, deals and contracts

IDG UK Sites

Is Apple losing confidence in itself?

IDG UK Sites

Professional photo and video techniques for perfect colours

IDG UK Sites

How (and where) to buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in the UK. Plus: What to do if you pre-ordered...