From time to time we receive reports of non-member studios and/or individual piercers who falsely claim membership in the APP. Sometimes it is a case of a past member who has simply neglected to renew membership. This is easily remedied. On other occasions the piercer(s) in question are deliberately attempting to mislead the public and claim endorsement they do not deserve. This is very frustrating for members who have spent time, energy, and money qualifying for membership and upholding APP standards.
Furthermore, the use of APP identification by piercers who hold lower standards of hygiene and ethics is a potential threat to all of our credibility. This organization is conceived and maintained on members’ commitment to excellence in our field. To have our group’s trusted reputation associated with uneducated, unethical, or unsafe practitioners reflects badly on every one of us.
What We Do
In order to protect the credibility of the APP and each of you, we must deal strongly and expediently with such dishonest practice. When brought to our attention these ‘impostors’ are contacted by phone immediately. They are then sent the letter below via certified mail.
They are given 14 days in which to apply for membership and become accepted, or to desist from illegitimate claims of APP association. If no attempt is made to rectify the situation, dishonest piercers and studios are subject to the sanctions and legal actions detailed in the following letter, and their names are listed on the Impostor List.
What You Can Do
We ask the assistance of all our members and advocates in upholding the APP’s commitment to excellence. If you know of a non-member piercer or business who is inappropriately or deceitfully claiming association with the APP, or is using the APP name and/or logo in advertising or otherwise, please contact us. We will need detailed information from you, but we will not reveal your name to the impostor.
It is up to all of us to protect our reputation and to ensure that the APP is a name clients can trust. Please help us by safeguarding the standards in your community. It’s a matter of public health and professional credibility.
Unfortunately, there are times when non-member studios and or individual piercers will claim membership to the APP. This is very frustrating for members who have spent both time and money qualifying for membership and upholding APP standards. When brought to our attention these ‘impostors’ are sent a letter via certified mail. They are given ample time in which to apply for membership (and become accepted) or desist in illegitimate claims of membership. If no attempt is made to rectify the situation these people or studios are listed below.
Here is the text of the letter sent to impostors:
Office of the President
The Association of Professional Piercers is the world’s foremost organization dedicated to educating piercers, healthcare workers and the general public about safe and ethical body piercing. Within this nonprofit group, our members come together to share the information and inspiration which drives our industry’s improvement. We are committed to keeping the name of the APP synonymous with excellence. In order to do so, we must ensure that the name and logo are used only by those who share our priorities and our commitment.
It has been brought to the attention of the APP Board of Directors that you and/or your company have been using the APP name and/or members’ logo without permission. This usage is wrongful and illegal and misrepresents your membership in our organization.* Our legitimate membership has worked extremely hard, giving countless hours to become members in good standing. They have met every guideline for membership outlined in the registration form enclosed in this letter. Whether or not you have also done so, you are not currently a member and do not have the right to continue misleading your clients and the public.
We as a board would like to invite you to join our organization and legitimize your claim to membership. Once you have demonstrated your agreement and compliance with our standards, you will be welcome to use the APP name and members’ logo in connection with your own. You will have access to the newest, most comprehensive information available to body piercers today, and you will have the opportunity to shape future industry policy and practices. Should you choose to become a member in an organization you clearly admire, please send a completed application packet to our secretary within the next 14 days for an expedited return.
In the interim, the APP requires that you immediately cease and desist all use of the APP name and/or members’ logo until your application has been received and processed, and you have been notified of your membership approval. Applicants who are not approved will refrain from APP name and/or members’ logo use until such approval is granted, if ever.
You have a choice to make:
You can fill out the application packet and, on receipt of approval, become a registered APP member with all the privileges that entails.
You can immediately and permanently stop all claim to APP association, support or membership and all use of the APP name and/or members’ logo. You must withdraw all advertising, print or otherwise, which includes references to the APP, and you must not use the APP name or logo in your shop or on the phone in any way, intentional or otherwise, which may mislead others to falsely make such an association. The APP will not be held responsible for any expense you may incur in this process.
We are providing you 14 days from the date of this letter to contact our organization with your response and intended action. If we have not heard from you within this time period, we will be forced to take action to preserve our rights.
These include but are not limited to the following actions:
- Your State Attorney General and/or appropriate law enforcement and government authorities will be notified of our grievance.
- A press release will be sent to all newspapers in your area stating that you are not a member of our organization.
- Media with whom you advertise will be informed that your advertising includes false and litigious claims and must be pulled. Again, the APP will bear no responsibility for financial losses you may incur.
- You and your company will be listed with sanction on the APP website in the “Impostors” section.
After 60 days, if you have still not complied with our request, we will be forced to take legal action.
We sincerely hope that your use of our name and/or logo was a simple mistake. We welcome the opportunity to evaluate your establishment for membership and look forward to receiving your registration packet within the next 14 days.
Remember, even if you do not choose to apply for membership, we must hear from you within 14 days to avoid serious consequences to your business and professional reputation. We look forward to resolving this problem with you.
Brian W. Skellie, APP President
cc: Michael M. Hernandez, Esq.
*Please refer to the enclosed guidelines for acceptable logo usage.
527 Reynolds Rd Toledo, OH 43615
Using an APP logo in a way to imply membership. Contacted in April 2015 and no attempt to remedy the situation has been made.
1400 NW 23rd AVE Portland, OR 97210
Website makes claims of APP membership but we do not have any members who work there. A letter was sent but never responded to.
Skin and Bonez
TLC’S Ear And Body Piercing
131 SE 102nd Avenue Portland, OR 97216
We sent them a letter in November 2012, they never responded and the website still makes claim of membership.
Old School Tattoo
209 E. Holly Bellingham, WA 98225
Old School Tattoo had APP members that are no longer with the studio, yet they still have the APP logo on their advertising including a yellow pages ad.
They were notified and have made no effort to apply for membership nor rectify the situation.
Pores of Color
7825 Lincoln Highway Rt. 30, Frankfort IL 60423
They have “Members of Piercing Associations-APP” on their yellow pages ad, and they are not members.
They have been notified and have made no effort to apply for membership nor rectify the situation.
Chris Johnson (Known as “Chris the Infamous”) of New Generations Tattoo and Professional Body Piercing
1335 Broadway Street, El Cajon CA 92021
Chris had his business card appear in the May 2004 issue of Pain Magazine, and that card was printed with the APP logo and stated “APP certified.”
He is not a member. He has been notified and has made no effort to apply for membership nor rectify the situation.