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What others have said - read comments

Comments posted in the guestbook at Adland between 1996-1997

John Mara, Art Director, Garbergs Stockholm
I'm amazed! The ad wasn't THAT GOOD in the first place, so why steal
I mean, who stupid enough to steal a bad idea?

-It happens, people get the same ideas sometimes when they live in
the same kind of society and get similar input, what's the big deal? -I've
seen it happen several times while I have been here at DDB.

I think it's a shame that whenever a pretty good new idea comes along
it is copied to death...
Like all the jeans campaigns..No wonder people HATE advertising! It's just
the same old stuff.
Awards never go to the innovative ads.

Sela Francis, would-be copywriter.

There are worse things ahead.
In May, the One Club held an exhibition of student ads, in conjunction
with a creative seminar. Most of the ads in the exhibition had either no
discernable concept, or a blatant ripoff of ads that won awards in recent
They were, however, beautifully produced. The students are not entirely
at fault - as a beginner, the comment I most frequently hear at portfoio
reviews is "great concepts, why don't you hire an art director to
lay them out?"
Well, because I'm a copywriter and this is a spec book. Unfortunately,
many CDs and virtually all "Creative Managers" are so used to
seeing the ultra-produced books out of Portfolio Center and their ilk,
that the art of thinking takes a back seat to glitz. Theft is acceptable,
as long as you've got a cool layout.
P.S. Any art director out there want to comp up my book?

Mike Art Director, McCann Erickson
It's the same with design.
Someone might come up with a new look then all of a sudden it's everywhere,
for example how many bank and investment ads can there be with full bleeding
panels of muted colors with duotone photos of people hugging. And if I
see one more dotted arrow pointing in an ad I'll scream (Opp!!! cliche
You know the old saying their are no original ideas.
If you believe that you shouldn't be in adverting. So Keep creatin' and
find that next great idea who knows you might become a CD because of it.

it's sad, really. these people are driven to the point that they no
longer care what they produce i know how it feals. it nearly happened to
me and i'm still in college. there is no more pride at this point, you
simply do what you have to so that you can be finished with the assignment.
the copywriter and creative director should have seen that these ads were

I am Ad Guy B.
That's no joke. I have a moonlight business called The Unknown Ad Guys.
See Entrepreneur magazine, April 1995. We specialize in cheap and funny
ads, mostly broadcast. You should have seen the Houston Ad Federation when
we received our awards for best local broadcast TV campaigns for last year
while wearing our paper bags. Call our 800 number at 1-800-631-6533 to
respond. An answering machine is standing by. If you want a reel, just
request it. Our stuff is quite zany, however, and not for the faint of
heart. kisses B

i'll bet they were all paid well.
how much does great original "creatives" cost american.
I try to rise to the occation, I seem to do my best work when working for
assholes. It may fall to the cutting room floor, but it's great. Everything
has to pass through this net(the ones who pay for it). The final piece
will sometimes differ from original concept.

Who knows the real story.

People who cant think steal!

Maybe the "Shock" "designer" had a whole entire
.5 hrs to do this ad or his butt was out the door.

He made the mistake of giving Mr. Shock too many choices and, of course,
Mr. Shock chose the worst one . . .
What else do non-designers do but choose the worst designs? Don't give
them the option.
Maybe Mr. Shock thought it was way cool.

Gee, and All this time in the buisness I thought it was an Art Directors
job to make the look of the ad and not a designers, and I thought it was
a copywriters job to think of a headline that hasn't been done before.
But It's true...Give the client a choice and they pick the worst one!!

TheMan@copycentral>>Micelle and
In this day and age the guy who buys the ads isn't the guy who built
his company with his bare hands. You are both right about the clients picking
the bad work, but these guys are proffesionals, they buy ads every day!!
Why are they only trained in buisness economy and lost in the world of
advertising? They don't know a great ad from a bad one, a rip-off ad from
an original one! When will we see adbuyers actually keep ajour with Advertising?
And when will they stop trying to change half(Or all) of the ad??
Have they forgotten why they hired us in the first place??

Dave at DDB>>Francis
Isn't that the truth? Creative recruiters and other non- creatives
want to a slick book, and have no understanding of what makes a good idea!
Maybe thats how we get to see so many copycatads, Creative recruiters were
blinded by slick books and didn't hire for talent.

They should all be fired, a waste of space.

the guy who copied the idea should be struck off NOW!

BEN Max Agency
There's nothing wrong with it i've been doing it for years.

ad gazer
It is very possible that the designers of the 3 ads had no idea that
they were "copying"-- as a design student, I have always feared
coming up with a concept and having it not seem my own because someone
had done it before without my knowing... and I can specifically recall
a time it happened--

luckily the instuctor never found out so I was never suspected of copying
even though the idea had really been my own!
Of course it is just as possible that the designers of the 3 ads were aware
that they were copying. But I am just saying that it is a big world with
lots of creative people who may be coming up with similar concepts completely
on their own.

Jascha Vink - Account Manager
It is not allowed in the Netherlands to copy a copy

Randy, Creative Director
Just a little more legal jazz off of the O.J.caper, the spin is endless,
judge for yourself, I named an Orange Juice flave yogart bar SIDEBAR in
honour of the most famous name of the most famous case...of the, well...
you get the picture.
It seems to me anything for a buck! is the american way, and damn the ethics.
The States is much like Rome before Nero, (copy that')the Great Creatives
of the 60's are still shining. Find a word that isn't legaly tied up and
you WIN the prize, or is there still some room in copyright heaven. 3 Cheers
for having ads 2 do in the 1st place, or there would be no dough!

sela Francis, would-be copywriter
Here comes another Nike ad, I thought. Slow motion telephoto shots
of athletes with quivering cheeks, supreme effort,pain, etc.Except it ended
with the McDonald's logo. Is Wieden & Kennedy selling off unused ads?
The interesting thing about ripoffs of Nike ads is that they cannot possibly
work. The genuine Nike ads seldom mention the word "Nike" usually
they just show the swoop at the end. Nike owns the "serious sport"
image by explicitly avoiding a blatant selling message. The many imitations
merely conjure up Nike's name, since that is what we've been conditioned
to expect. What were the imitators thinking? Not only have they stolen
an idea, but they end up helping their intended victim.

Chad, Graphic Designer
Does this suprise you?

Through out the ages every GREAT artist has copied artists that came before
them. They were taken to galleries and told to reproduce the pieces they
saw. All that a designer or illustrator or agency artist is doing is trying
to perfect a previous ad or design. I AM IN NO WAY CONDONING THIS. But
I am saying that you should not be suprised in the least.

Amy Roy
it's Nike swoosh, not swoop! But otherwise--cool site!

Todd Carey, Copywriter
The immensely popular "got milk?" campaign from Goodby, Silverstein
and Partners seems to have created a whole new category in the "ad
rip-off" genre. I have seen no less than a dozen "got milk?"

rip-off ads. Here are just a few of the "homages" that I have
posted on my bulletin board: "Got boards?", "Got design?",
"Got wine?", "Got $15?", "Got credit headaches?",
"Got cookies?", "Got blood?(2)", "Got web feet?",

"Got money?", "Got your Citibank card?", and the list
goes on. And, those are just a few of the overt, self-referencing "got
milk?" rip-offs. The worst rip-offs are the ones that try to emulate
the spots in a desperate attempt to be funny.(Well, I assume they're intended
to be funny.) For instance, perhaps you've see the countless "Need
a new (insert product here)?" television spots. I cringe whenever
I see/hear the new spots for HomeBase -- complete with a wacky situation
involving a collapsed roof and a deap-pan, monotonous voice-over that reads:
"Need new roofing?" Whenever I see these spots, I say "Got

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