Crunch time for Cornflake the Clown

22:58, Jul 27 2011
Cornflake the clown
SAD FACE: Justin Lane, who created and portrayed Cornflake the Clown, has been banished from the magic community and threatened with legal action.

Clowns failing to see the funny side of an "employee of the month" award may have the law on their side when they take on a colleague.

The magic community has banned Cornflake the Clown and threatened him with legal action after he awarded his colleague Magic Matt with Cornflake's Magic World Grand Master of Magic Award.

The Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians asked Cornflake to withdraw the award because it was too similar to the Grand Master of Magic Award they hand out.

Cornflake the clown
Cornflake the Clown has been banished from the magic community and threatened with legal action.

Their award honours magicians who are acknowledged to be masters of the art and craft of magic and who have high standing in the magical community.

Cornflake refused to withdraw Magic Matt's award which he says recognised his efforts in making up new tricks and being a great performer.

The Commerce Commission has confirmed several complaints had been lodged over the matter which they are now assessing.

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Kim McLeod, partner at AJ Park - a law firm specialising in intellectual property - says while he's unsure whether the Commerce Commission could do anything about the award dispute, he believes the Brotherhood may have a case under the Fair Trading Act.

"I think the complaint may have grounds. The consumer protection legislation is there to stop people from making false or misleading claims," he says.

"If it is a recognised award and it adds value to its ability to sell, there could be a reason for the award to be misleading."

Justin Lane, who dons an orange wig as Cornflake the Clown, enraged other magicians when he announced the award on his Facebook page.

He said he had not used it for marketing purposes and it was like an employee of the month award.

Wayne Rogers, a 2004 recipient of the Grand Master award for his performance as The Amazing Chicane, is one of many upset with Cornflake's antics.

"He's used an created a non-existent award as a marketing tool. This award is held dear to people who are presented with it," he says.

- Auckland Now