What will be the first instance of the matter moving beyond industry fora, ad agency Brand David, part of the WPP-owned Ogilvy group, has taken smartphone manufacturer Vivo to court over a campaign it claims resembles a piece of work it presented to the company earlier.
Issues of scam advertising, plagiarism, and blatant copying have been raised frequently at ad award shows.
But in what will be the first instance of the matter moving beyond industry fora, ad agency Brand David, part of the WPP-owned Ogilvy group, has taken smartphone manufacturer Vivo to court over a campaign it claims resembles a piece of work it presented to the company earlier.
The ad in question is for V17 Pro, featuring actor Aamir Khan and a child at an amusement park.
While the Bombay high court last week passed an interim order, asking Vivo to deposit Rs 1 crore or furnish a bank guarantee, the matter is far from over.
The next hearing is on November 22.
The ad, however, has not been pulled off air despite allegations of plagiarism and copyright infringement against it.
Sources say Vivo is contesting the matter.
“Vivo’s values are built on strong ethical and contractual foundations.
"We accord a lot of attention to our work.
"The matter is sub judice and we shall wait for the law to take its course,” a Vivo spokesperson said when contacted.
An email sent to Ogilvy elicited no response till the time of going to press.
Vivo’s ad agency Dentsu Impact, which executed the campaign, has denied lifting Brand David’s idea.
“We have absolutely no reason to resort to any kind of plagiarism, as we have no dearth of talent in our agency.
"What we created is completely our original work, and we have always maintained this before the court.
"We do not wish to comment on the matter further, as it is still pending before the court.”
In Brand David’s case, Vivo had called for a pitch in October last year for its V15 mobile, where the former had shared the idea of a campaign featuring an amusement park, the interim order, dated October 15 and passed by Justice B P Colabawalla, says.
While Vivo did not engage the services of Brand David after the pitch, the latter, as the order noted, was “shocked and surprised” to see a similar campaign for ‘Vivo V17 Pro’ executed by another agency in September.
“The entire execution of the impugned advertisement or at least the very essence of it is an infringement of copyright,” the order said.
Vivo, on its part, contended that there was no copyright infringement, according to the order.
Photograph: Courtesy, Vivo