Ok, perhaps they're not being quite as blunt as calling "Stop! Thief!" in their open letter, but it makes for a snappy cliff-note type headline. Asylum films have sent an open letter to Graeme Light, head of TV at Leo Burnett pointing out the blatant similarities in Leo Burnett's Ronald McDonald film to Asylums film. They call a spade a spade:
It is essentially our piece of work reshot and redone with a bigger budget. Not only the concept, but lighting, the feel and shot selection are almost identical.
Note - Update! Leo Burnett has said that they're sorry to Asylum films and explain what went down.
Lets watch Asylum's film!
RMHC Little Box - created by Asylum
And now, Leo Burnett's.
Ronald McDonald "Little Box" currently airing in the UK.
At no point were we consulted on this or even told about it happening as a courtesy, and certainly not asked about our ability to create this new version. We feel hugely aggrieved by the situation. It is hard for smaller companies to make the transition into doing work with bigger agencies, but we feel we have the experience and showreel to do so. We take on these smaller and difficult jobs as a way to prove our abilities for future work and to start to build a relationship, putting in hours and getting production values that exceed what might be expected from the budget. Our agility and creative ability is our stock in trade, and to feel we, and it, has been used in this way is disappointing to say the least.
In short, our work and creative content has been copied and reused, without any consultation or recognition.
I can do nothing but nod and agree. That's a terrible copy-cat case. Leo Burnett should be ashamed of themselves.