An official communiqué from O&M informs that it has been brought to the agency’s attention that Shems, a Morocco-based advertising agency and production company, has copied a TV commercial done by O&M India for Perfetti Van Melle India.
The TVC was produced for Perfetti’s brand Mentos in August 2005. The TVC Mentos ‘Classroom’ depicts a student being reprimanded by his class teacher for coming late to class. It then cuts to a second situation where the student walks backward as if leaving the classroom, at which point the teacher insists that he sits down.
The communiqué further quoted, “After having verified the facts, it has been established that the copied Moroccan commercial was produced in March 2007 and aired in April 2007. O&M and Perfetti Van Melle are contemplating legal action against the parties concerned.”
Action doesn’t cease at that. Agency officials inform that some Indian advertising professionals have taken advantage of the situation and are giving the impression that the mentioned Ogilvy commercial was not an original Ogilvy idea. Abhijit Avasthi, Group Creative Director, O&M, said, “I am sorry to disappoint some of our ‘well-wishers’ in the industry who are responsible for circulating emails that made falsely vicious insinuations against our agency and Perfetti Van Melle. You have to be spectacularly dumb to not be able to make out which one was the original.”
He explained further, “Obviously we knew that the original idea was ours the moment this was brought to our attention; and we have now gathered all the facts.”
Jignesh Maniar, Associated Creative, India, O&M, added, “Someone has copied an Indian commercial but instead of taking pride in this, some people tried to use it to pull us down, without really treating the truth.”