Alberta energy 'war room' discovers its logo was lifted from American software company

The Alberta government's energy "war room" says it will change its logo after it was revealed on Twitter Wednesday the logo already represents an American tech company. 

American tech company says it's looking into logo appropriation

The Canadian Energy Centre has been using the logo of an American tech company Progress Software since launching Dec. 11. (Greg Fulmes/The Canadian Press)

The Alberta government's energy "war room" says it will change its logo after it was revealed on Twitter Wednesday the logo already represents an American tech company. 

The logo is identical to Massachusetts-headquartered Progress Software, with the exception of colour. Canadian Energy Centre went with a blue and white palette, while the tech company opted for lime green.

In a statement Thursday, the energy centre called the design debacle an unfortunate situation. 

"We understand this was a mistake and we are in discussions with our agency to determine how it happened," said Tom Olsen, chief executive officer and managing director. 

The logo was produced by Calgary marketing agency Lead & Anchor, according to the statement.

The statement says the agency will carry any costs related to removing or adjusting the logo. 

The Canadian Energy Centre did not say how much it paid for the design, which has been used by the $30-million war room since its public launch by Premier Jason Kenney last week. 

Alberta's 'war room' says it is changing its logo, right, after discovering the logo imitates Progress Software's symbol, left. (Facebook/Progress Software & Canadian Energy Centre)

The centre, a private corporation, is exempt from freedom of information legislation, including information regarding expenditures and awards contracts. 

In the statement, the centre says it chose Lead & Anchor based on responses to a post on Calgary-based network Communo, which connects marketing agencies with clients. 

Kim Baker, corporate communications senior manager for Progress, confirmed the company was looking into the situation, but provided no further comment. 

The Progress logo is a registered trademark in Canada and the U.S. The company is publicly traded on the NASDAQ and employs more than 1,400 people according to its latest annual report

The resemblance between the logos was revealed on Twitter by Edwin Mundt, a Calgary-based freelance designer. Mundt, who did volunteer design work for the Alberta Party in the recent provincial election, said he noticed the similarities after putting the logo through a Google image search. 

"I knew it was going to go viral," he said in an interview with CBC News. 

His message quickly racked up retweets, with other users directing messages to the Canadian Energy Centre and Progress Twitter accounts. The Progress account responded Thursday, reiterating that the company was looking into the situation. 

Lead & Anchor has not responded to a request for comment from CBC News. The agency's website was listed as private Thursday afternoon.


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