Vivo ad row: Accused of plagiarism by O&M, Dentsu says 'have no dearth of talent'

In a petition filed in Bombay HC, O&M has claimed that an ad created by Dentsu Impact for Vivo V17 Pro is very similar to a proposal sent by it to Vivo to win its contract

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Oct 21, 2019 1:27 PM Updated: Oct 21, 2019 1:27 PM

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An advertisement of Vivo V17 Pro created by Dentsu Impact has come in the eye of the storm after the Bombay High Court, hearing a petition filed by ad firm Ogilvy & Mather (O&M), ruled that the commercial is very similar to a proposal sent by Ogilvy to Vivo to win the contract for the ad, according to media reports.

Apart from Vivo, the O&M petition also reportedly included Dentsu Impact as a respondent. The ad, titled Light Up the Night, features actor Amir Khan in an amusement park.

In the order passed last week, the court directed Vivo Mobile India Private Limited to deposit Rs 1 crore or furnish a bank guarantee within a week if it wants to continue airing the ad. The amount has been fixed on the basis of the claim made by O&M that they would have earned Rs 150 crore had Vivo given them the contract for the ad.

In its petition, O&M has claimed that Vivo had approached one of the O&M’s firms in October last year for the ad. O&M then shared a detailed storyboard for the ad conceptualized in an amusement park. But in May this year, Vivio informed O&M that they would not go ahead with them for the ad, following which the agency informed the smartphone brand that all intellectual property rights in the proposal belonged to it. However, in June, Vivo approached O&M again for the commercial, after which a detailed script was sent to them. But in September, O&M saw the ad being aired.

The claims of O&M have been refuted by Vivo and Dentsu. The two have claimed that that similarity in an idea could not amount to infringement. But the court ruled that there were quite a few similarities between the advertisement created by Dentsu and the proposal sent by O&M.

Refuting the allegation, Dentsu in a statement said, “We deny that the idea was copied by us. We have absolutely no reason to resort to any kind of plagiarism, as we have no dearth of talent in our agency and have enough great work and awards that prove our worth.”

“We are an agency of strong integrity, ethics, and brilliant creative talent. What we created is completely our original work, and we have always maintained this before the Hon’ble Court, as this is the fact. We do not wish to comment on the matter further, as it is still pending before the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay for final adjudication.”

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