by Ben Perreira

Anyone who has read the last page of a contract has seen a section that looks something like this:

If a provision of this Agreement is or becomes illegal, invalid or unenforceable in any jurisdiction, that shall not affect:

  1. the validity or enforceability in that jurisdiction of any other provision of this Agreement; or
  2. the validity or enforceability in other jurisdictions of that or any other provision of this Agreement.

This is called severability, and it means that one voided clause doesn’t cause the entire contract to lose its validity. This is convenient to the lawyer who drafts it as well as any lawyer who needs to later use it. It leaves room for error.

Brands do not have the same luxury with their customers. Customers sign the implied (perhaps not legal) contract when they make a purchase and they expect specific characteristics in exchange for their currency. Anything less and the brand has breached it’s part of the contract. No severability.