Buddy Ice Cream & Info Cafe In Phu Quoc

Review of Buddy Ice Cream & Info Cafe, which is a small ice cream and coffee shop located on leased land in Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc – 6 Bach Dang Street. 

Buddy Ice Cream Phu Quoc Review

Buddy Ice Cream in Phu Quoc is a small ice cream shop located in Duong Dong, Phu Quoc.  The ice cream shop faces stiff competition and a such, their marketing manager – a shady old Australian national – has created a few third tier businesses in order to artificially ramp up support for Buddy Ice Cream.   These businesses include:

  • “Buddy Boutique” –  shop that sells counterfeit products.
  • “Phu Quoc Cham” – a fake non-profit created to build goodwill and promote Buddy Ice Cream.
  • “Phu Quoc Chamber of Commerce” – a fake organization, which is not registered with the Vietnamese government.
  • “Phu Quoc Information Center” – a fake “official” tourist information center.
  • “Visit Phu Quoc” (map, website, & guide) – a business directory.
  • and formerly “Keep Phu Quoc Green”.

The goal of these aforementioned Phu Quoc marketing projects are:

  1. Drive foot traffic to Buddy Ice Cream & Info Cafe
  2. Sell advertisements,
  3. Appear as a Phu Quoc Island “Expert” for downstream revenue growth and optics.

 

Cabin Fever

Locals and fellow expats have reported that the manager of Buddy Ice Cream, the old Australian, behaves unethically behind close doors, makes countless number of false claims, violates Vietnam Law, steals ideas/content/assets from others without permission or recognition, etc – all of which has been well documented and a recurring theme for the past few years.  It is also clearly apparent he favors the company of older expats like himself and rarely communicates with locals.

 

buddy ice cream and info cafe

 

As past performance is a good indicator of what lies ahead, and given the old age and habits of the Australian national – these unethical business practices will not end unless the The People's Committee of Kien Giang Province, The Peoples Committee of Phu Quoc and/or the Communist Party of Vietnam swiftly act in order to protect tourist, investors, Vietnamese people, and small businesses operating ethically and honestly.

Shanzhai

For a long time, Chinese companies have been known for copying market-proven products, brands and business models from the West. Such a phenomenon is known as shanzhai, a Chinese term that was originally used to describe a bandit stronghold outside government control. In today’s slang, it refers to businesses based on fake or pirated products.  Not only does Buddy Ice Cream sell fake products via the Buddy Boutique store, but they have also copied us and many others as well.

Copyright Infringement & DMCA

The “Visit Phu Quoc” website was removed over 4 times in 2017 an 2018 due to copyright infringement.  However due to Vietnam's inability to protect brands, the Australian expat continued to infringe copyrights. The expat, who is a middle aged man, went as far as publishing a vile image in his guidebook that descrated the Canadian flag while at the same time infringing, and tarnishing, DC Comics assets in the process:

Copyright infringement buddy ice cream in Phu Quoc

Desecrating Flags & DC Comics Brand Attack

The aforementioned expat, who presents/markets himself as a “mature middle aged married man with kids“,  went so far as to publish a vile image in his Phu Quoc Magazine/Guide (“Visit Phu Quoc”)  that desecrated the Canadian flag while at the same time infringed and tarnished DC Comics assets  (see below) in the process – as a sign to “show” he does not care about copyrights, honor, integrity, and the numerous Canadian men and women who lost their lives serving abroad.  It is worth noting that Canada opposed the Vietnam war and Canadians are considered some of the nicest people/tourists in the world.

As this behavior was seen by many in Phu Quoc as disturbing, considering the age of the aforementioned person, Embassies and authorities were immediately notified to ensure the safety of all Canadians visiting Phu Quoc.

Phu Quoc Chamber of Commerce - Phu Quoc Cham

Visit Phu Quoc - Guide, Maps, Website

The Visit Phu Quoc guide, maps, and website is a tourism product owned by the same person who manages Buddy Ice Cream, which is owned exclusively by his wife. Upon further review of these assets, this “guide” is more of a business directory with the intention of selling advertisement space while also marketing Buddy Ice Cream in the process – which, incidentally enough, ranks #1 in their own guide.

These aforementioned assets are inundated with infringing material, which are only removed once reported – but must be reported by the IP owner.


Greenwashing

In previous editions of the print guide, the owners have placed recycling logos on the guidebook and map covers – which appears to be a marketing move (open image).  However there is no recycling in Phu Quoc. After complaints, these recycling logos have been removed.  They have also made claims that “non-toxic” inks would be used, but no action has been taken.

Evil is no faceless stranger, living in a distant neighborhood. Evil has a wholesome, hometown face, with merry eyes and an open smile. Evil walks among us, wearing a mask which looks like all our faces.

– Dean Koontz

Buddy Boutique

“Buddy Boutique” is another business managed by Buddy Ice Cream.  Recent tourists have complained that Buddy Boutique is selling and distributing counterfeit products, which is illegal in Vietnam, as well as all over the world, and they have been doing so for years.  Major global brands validated that their products sold at Buddy Boutique were not authentic and Buddy Boutique did not have a license to officially sell their products or use their product images.


Counterfeit products supports child trafficking!


In 2017 the Australian national removed infringing product images from Buddy Boutiques Facebook Page.

Buddy Boutique Phu Quoc Island

In 2018, tourists have informed us that the Facebook Page has been removed, right before the first “Phu Quoc Cham” event.

Phu Quoc Cham

Counterfeit Products & Phu Quoc Cham Connection

The residents of Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam wanted to know if the person selling and distributing counterfeit products via the Buddy Boutique outlet was the same person organizing business networking events under the name “Phu Quoc Cham”.  Investigators revealed that this was indeed true and this revelation shocked the island.

 

It is well documented that the profits from the sale of fake products fuels organized crime, and helps fund terrorism and the trafficking of drugs, people, sex and wildlife.

 

Once the revelation was made public, the Australian expat owner quickly removed the Buddy Boutique Phu Quoc Facebook Page, and did so before organizing 2018's first Phu Quoc Cham Business Networking Event.

It is unclear why a western educated mature man would want to sell counterfeit products in the first place.

Corporate Criminal Liability in Vietnam - Counterfeit Products

Under the Penal Code 2015:

  • Article 189 –  Illegally trafficking goods or money across the border
  • Article 190 – Manufacturing or trading banned goods
  • Article 191 – Hoarding or, transporting banned goods
  • Article 192 –  Manufacturing or trading counterfeit goods 
  • Article 196 –  Speculating
  • Article 200 –  Evading tax
  • Article 217 – Violating competition regulations
  • Article 217 – Violating competition regulations
  • Article 235 –  Polluting environment
buddy ice cream phu quoc
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Watch: The Business of Counterfeits and Knock Offs

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Buddy Ice Cream & Info Cafe on Phu Quoc Island
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