Dexim ad vs Jamie Nelson - This is what we call "demo love" - and what lawyers call "copyright infringement".

Jamie Nelsons original photography 2006

Last year I worked at a place where the "creative" was limited to "Model on the left, product to the right" and every single sketch ever made had to be done in photoshop so that the myriad of people who had something to say about the layout in its infancy, could waste everyones time complaining about "the models ears being too square" because all I found was a photograph of a great face with big hair, and my lassoing away of the hair left her ears looking silly. (Yes, I had to go draw fake ears on the model for the next meeting, Seriously.)

Using pre existing photography for presentations not only locks you into working only with what already exists (and that you can find) instead of using that creative brain they hired you for - but also puts you straight into the path of copying work which is called derivative work and can get the company into serious trouble. Y'all do remember that little thing called "copyright", right?

At that job, I did what any sane AD would do, I went back to pen and paper and drew everything I had planned to be in the final layout. That's when some people turn to already perfect photography to present to their clients in meetings instead. And that is when shit like this happens, where Jamie Nelson's bright yellow photo is copied to a T for Dexim.

The Dexim ad copy was spotted at clayton cubitts tumblr account. The Dexim ad is credited to BBDO Athens.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Neaner's picture

How do you manage to copy a great photograph to a T and make it look awful?

purplesimon's picture

I hate the phrase "digital layouts" as that immediately says Photoshop and crappy stock imagery that the client then decides they love or hate. Then it's always hard to get past that point.

Also, if you can get the idea across in a hand-drawn scamp it's a solid idea.

Props to Neaner, they have indeed made a great photograph look awful.

labargephoto's picture

We hear about cases like this all the time. I just don't understand how it's possible that any of these agencies don't know better by now.

Dabitch's picture

To be honest, I think it's only going to get worse. Back in the day (cue: when I was young and walked to school UPHILL both ways!) agency people seemed at least, to have an inkling of the rights management issues and copyrights - from AE to AD. Now when young kids straight out of portfolio schools that teach them nothing about this and with the constant pressure to do digital mockups, use stock and the habit of just scouring the intarwebs for a good shot instilled in the backbone of new creatives who never marker roughed anything in their lives, I think we'll see this far more often.

What bothers me is the limitations this puts on "new ideas". If it's already been shot, it is not new.