South African BMW ad plagiarizes artist's work

In South Africa last February, a newspaper ad for BMW by Ireland-Davenport (which won the account only months before) has been called plagiarism by artist Gerhard Marx and his representatives, Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art (you can see the artists work here). They want the campaign cancelled, an apology and are looking for financial compensation or else they will go ahead with a lawsuit.

They claim that the ad, which features a collage using a map and a line drawing depicting the back of a naked woman for the BMW Z4, uses a technique that is the innovation of Marx (“drawing” human forms using reconstituted map fragments.)

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find the BMW ad online and I have not been able to find a website for Ireland-Davenport. There is a review of the ad here as well as some comments that claim that Mr. Ireland was seen at the grand opening of Marx's exhibit, and some other chatter about it here.

But it seems that using maps isn't something totally unique to Marx. In a different vein, here are two Volkswagen print ads by DDB Berlin.

If any South African adgrunts have a copy of the ad, we'd like to see it.

about the author

caffeinegoddess I'm a creative director and copywriter with digital, integrated, and traditional expertise. I love sound strategy and great executions.

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  • natattack's picture
    natattack (not verified)

    Sep 20, 2011

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