US retailer accused of “stealing” profits of Caroline Flack t-shirts

Keith Lemon PrettyLittleThing In The Style Charity Caroline Flack Teespring
TV presenter & comedian Keith Lemon accused online retailer Teespring of selling fake versions of the Caroline Flack t-shirts to make a profit. (Image: Keith Lemon Instagram).
// Online retailer in the US accused of “stealing” Caroline Flack t-shirt design to make profit
// PrettyLittleThing & In The Style said last week 100% of their profits would go to charities
// TV presenter Keith Lemon accused Teespring of allegedly copying his designs

An online US retailer has been accused of selling “stolen” t-shirt designs of late TV presenter Caroline Flack, with profits going straight to its pocket instead of charities.

Following Flack’s death earlier this month, PrettyLittleThing said it was donating profits to mental health charity Mind, while In The Style said it had raised over £300,000 for the charity The Samaritans.


However, comedian Keith Lemon has hit out at online retailer Teespring, which he accused of selling fake versions of the t-shirts to make a profit rather than donate to charity.

Lemon took to Instagram to accuse the US retailer for “ripping off” the design he had made to support The Samaritans.

In a video, he warned followers of the supposedly fake items and urged websites to remove the replicas to ensure profits go to the proposed charities.

“Unfortunately a company called Teespring has stolen the design and has started selling them,” Lemon said.

“That’s profits that would’ve gone to Samaritans. Hopefully they’ll do the right thing and hand over what profits they make to the Samaritans. Can’t trust anyone. Disappointing.”

He added: “I did this t-shirt to spread Caroline’s own words ‘be kind’, and to raise money for the Samaritans, 100 per cent of profits will go to charity.”

Teespring has since removed the designs and apologised.

It added that the designs had been created by “independent individuals” whose accounts have been “disabled” for plagiarising.

A Teespring spokesperson told Retail Gazette that the company invests in both human and machine review technology to flag content which violates its policies.

“Teespring takes infringement very seriously,” they said.

“If we receive any complaint or allegation that a design or any resulting merchandise constitutes an unauthorised use of a third party’s rights, we will terminate the design accordingly.

“This includes charitable campaigns – we categorically do not support the promotion of or profiting from designs created for a charitable cause.

“This seller’s products have been removed, the account suspended and the seller has made no profit.

“Keith Lemon has thanked Teespring for the immediate removal, and as an act of support for the cause, Teespring has made a donation to The Samaritans.”

Last week, PrettyLittleThing said it was donating 100 per cent of its profits from its latest edit with former Love Island contestant Molly-Mae Hague to Mind.

Hague made the announcement via her Instagram page, which read: “PrettyLittleThing and I have decided to donate 100 per cent of the profits of our latest edit together to Mind charity.”

Meanwhile, fellow online retailer In The Style said its limited-edition “Be Kind” t-shirt sold out in less than 24 hours.

After restocking, the t-shirts helped make a profit of over £300,000 for The Samaritans.

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