McCann Erickson Ireland accused of copyright infringement


Sonarstate has threatened legal action against Heineken and global ad agency McCann Erickson for alleged copyright infringement in their ‘Where's your head at?’ campaign. (Not related to the Australian Where's your head at anti drug campaign.)
Sonarstate claims the Speakerboy character they use has been nicked by Heineken and turned into a Speakerhead character, Sonarstate claims it's plagiarised.
Sonarstates own speakerboy - not connected to the loud speaker builders located at - can be seen in small speakerboy films here.

A quote from the Sunday Business Post Online reveals more

However, a posting on an Irish creative design website last week, attributed to one of the design team behind the Heineken campaign, said that it was unaware of the existence of the Speakerboy character, while developing the character. The person also said that there had been no deliberate attempts to copy the concept.

The web posting said that similarities between the two characters had been an “unfortunate coincidence'‘.

Anyone here know which design forum they might mean?

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (4)

  • Dabitch's picture

    Ah yes, brilliant - that looks like it's the place. CreativeIreland, ta! creaghfish says;

    As one of the team responsible I feel oblidged to defend the 'originality' of the idea.
    The brief: Talk directly to young music lovers who have a wide taste in music about the Summer of
    music sponsored by Heineken.
    Our answer: People who are into cars - petrol heads. People who are into music - speaker heads.
    It was an honest attempt at originality (we still think it is) although it's now been shown to have existed in a different context at a different time.
    We were unaware of the existence of 'speakerboy' at the concept origination stage, so believe us when we say that it is an unfortunate coincidence rather than a blatant rip-off.

    Apr 25, 2005
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    Interesting spelling of the word "oblidged". Hmmm, can't get a good creative anywhere in Dublin...

    Apr 25, 2005
  • Dabitch's picture

    My guess is s/he's the copywriter of the team. ;))

    Apr 26, 2005

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