Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Please explain

The Health Promotion Board’s latest anti-smoking campaign includes a TVC graphically showing a mouth cancer sufferer talking about the ill effects of smoking – the ad is good, very soul wrenching and hard hitting, but is it original?

Now I am not pointing fingers at the HPB but it is obvious that the video and subsequent coverage by the Straits Times interactive make no mention of a very similar anti-smoking TVC which ran in Australia.

The videos are a splitting image from the ‘Quitting is hard, not quitting is harder’ tagline to the graphic images of the mouth cancer symptoms on the woman speaking – this has all left me feeling a liitle…how should I say this… ‘uncomfortable’.

Can someone help come up with an explanation for all this? Does the Straits Time’s print version credit the Australian campaign or offer up any explanations?


jasmine said...

I first thought the ad was pretty original and rather good. But was appalled when I read this blog entry.

Apparently Australia ran the campaign in July 2006 and from the Quit website, I also found out that the campaign was "produced by The Campaign Palace/Red Cell".

I also noted the disclaimer on one of the pages on the campaign: "As well as being liable to pay compensation, a person reproducing or adapting this work in breach of the Copyright Act may also be liable to prosecution for a criminal offence."

If Singapore's campaign was produced by the same agency, then I guess you can count it as a legal "adaptation". But if it's by another agency, won't this count as plagiarism?

Kevin said...

So important question here is; is this done by the same agency as the one that did the Australian campaign? Though, I would question the effectiveness of the ads in the long-run. People tend to get a 'numb' after awhile.

Cecil said...

I sent an email to ask the reporter about this. Her reply to me (which I'm not allowd to publish) basically alluded to the fact that the HPB campaign was "based on" the Australian campaign.

Moreover, according to the reporter's email, this isn't the first time the HPB has used material from Australian campaigns, stating that past anti-smoking campaigns have also "mirrored" other Australian ads.

What I find disturbing is how she also added that according to HPB they were not required to credit the source of ads they are "mirroring".

Makes me wonder... if they plan on mirroring ads from other countries, why bother opening up a tender for ad agencies to pitch their ideas?

Kevin said...

My my... Now, isn't this theft? So, piracy of music is not okay, but this is? This govt agency sure loves to take liberties huh.

Warr said...

Wow! OK, let us mirror our favourite Rembrandt and Picasso's and since it is "based on" those masterpieces, we will not need to credit them! Yay! Just for YOU GUYS, you can have my "based on" masterpiece for ONLY $10million!!

dismissive said...

while i can understand "reusing" clever and effective concepts to accomplish the same community goals (HPB vs. Quit)

"hear only the good stuff" (the tennis coach) ad for Gold 90FM is much more blatent without the benefit of ideological armor.

that was ripped off an australian potato crisp ad. the crunching blocked out the offending words - making much more comedic sense than Gold's rather lame-duck copy.

jasmine said...

but what would happen really, if someone tips Australia's agency off on the design concept that was ripped from them? not that i'd do that of course...