Prehistoric Shitstorm in Canada

Adland: 

Spec work - It's the bane of the advertising world. Untold hours of toil just so you can get a chance at winning an account. And if you don't win, you're SOL, for both your time wasted and something even more aggravating...

The Globe and Mail: A Toronto ad agency is complaining that ideas it submitted to the Royal Ontario Museum in a request for proposals last November are being used by a rival agency that won the pitch.

When the ROM asked agencies for ideas on how to advertise its exhibit on feathered dinosaurs, Holmes & Lee Inc. submitted a sample ad showing a car covered in giant dinosaur bird poop, and another showing a hydro wire that had been pulled down by a giant bird.

Holmes & Lee was not selected for the account, but both ideas are part of the ROM's latest ad campaign produced by DDB Canada.


Full story here. Ain't spec fun!?

Here are the ads.

about the author

claymore Creative Director, copywriter and ad connoisseur that has been riding the wild surf of advertising in style, panache and grace for two decades.

Comments (11)

  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    Ouch!

    Doesn't that happen all the time in spec pitches though? Poor sods.

    Mar 28, 2005
  • Plywood's picture
    Plywood

    THIS is what happened:
    5 agencies get briefed on a creative pitch.
    The brief: We have cool new bird fossils/bones and hey - birds might be related to dinosaurs.
    3 of the 5 agencies pitching come up with prettyy much identical ads.
    WOW THAT IS SO SURPRISING.
    The museum awards the project to DDB Toronto.
    Since 3 of the 5 agencies have submitted the same ideas, they obviously choose DDB for other reasons.
    DDB goes into production.
    Holmes and Lee sees ads on the street.
    Holmes and Lee freaks out.
    For some reason Holmes and Lee are entirely detatched from reality and don't believe that anyone else could have possibly come up with the same ads as they did.
    Holmes and Lee demand payment from the museum for the ads they submitted in the pitch, claiming the ROM has instructed DDB to use their ideas.
    Holmes and Lee go to the media. Media goes nuts.
    ROM blows off ridiculous claims.
    Canadian ad industry shakes its head, waits for this idiocy to go away.
    The end.

    Apr 23, 2005
  • Plywood's picture
    Plywood

    -----------------------------------------------
    "When the ROM asked agencies for ideas on how to advertise its exhibit on feathered dinosaurs, Holmes & Lee Inc. submitted a sample ad showing a car covered in giant dinosaur bird poop, and another showing a hydro wire that had been pulled down by a giant bird.

    Holmes & Lee was not selected for the account, but both ideas are part of the ROM's latest ad campaign produced by DDB Canada."
    -----------------------------------------------

    You should change this since it's missing a small detail, that being DDB ALSO PITCHED IDEAS SHOWING GIANT TURDS AND HYDRO WIRES BENT TO THE GROUND.

    Apr 23, 2005
  • claymore's picture
    claymore

    Err.... the part you have trouble with is a direct quote from the article - that's why it's in a blockquote, along with an attribution and link to the source.

    Your comments are welcome and appreciated as they added lots of info to the scenario that we previously didn't have, but your problem is with the Globe and Mail.

    Thanks for the rundown. Cheers.

    Apr 24, 2005
  • aiiobo's picture
    aiiobo

    Looks like Holmes and Lee have a better PR department then, as they get their side of the story quoted in the Globe and Mail, while a random DDB'er yells at Claymore for said quote.

    Apr 25, 2005
  • Plywood's picture
    Plywood

    Mr. Lee feels that the ROM should pay his agency because he ALSO came up with the same ideas as DDB: "Mr. Lee, who typically avoids spec work, has sent a bill to the ROM for $75,000, saying that if the museum is going to use an idea identical to the one his agency proposed, then they should pay for it."

    In my opinion, that's ridiculous.

    And for he record, I don't work for DDB.

    Perhaps the full atricle will shed some light on the fiasco:

    ------------
    Ad agency cries foul
    By KEITH MCARTHUR
    Friday, March 25, 2005 Updated at 7:22 AM EST
    Huge chunk of article deleted by Dabitch.

    Mr. Lee, who typically avoids spec work, has sent a bill to the ROM for $75,000, saying that if the museum is going to use an idea identical to the one his agency proposed, then they should pay for it.

    Joel Peters, the ROM's vice-president of marketing and commercial development, said that when seven agencies pitched spec creative ideas last November, he was surprised at how similar the ideas were.

    Apr 25, 2005
  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    Plywood, quoting some of an article is fine. Linking to an article is great as well. Copy and pasting the whole article from the Globe and Mail isn't kosher at all, so I had to edit away much of that. Sorry mate, ta. If anyone else wants to read it again, it is this article at the globe and mail. There ya go.

    Apr 25, 2005
  • Plywood's picture
    Plywood

    Oh. I only posted the whole thing because I thought the Globe required a subscription thing to read the whole article. My bad.

    Apr 25, 2005
  • aiiobo's picture
    aiiobo

    COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT ALERT!
    I read the whole article already, thanks.

    Apr 25, 2005
  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    Real Late Reply - I understand why you did it, and you didn't know that some papers have been on our case, so we prefer not to quote everything. Though, when their articles vanish from the web, we often wish we had.

    Dec 17, 2006
  • adlib's picture
    adlib

    Did Lee ever get his $75,000?

    Oct 25, 2007

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