RMHC-gate

There seems to be a little misinformation flying around regarding our recent Ronald McDonald House Charities film. To set the record straight, here's what happened...

We came up with the idea and the long, and highly-detailed, script for an 'internal' film to be played at the annual gala dinner held by Ronald McDonald House Charities. Obviously, there was a very small budget given that it was only going to be watched by a few hundred people. This meant we could only approach production companies at the cheaper end of the spectrum. Asylum's Ben Falk did a great job for us. As a consequence, our RMHC client took the decision to invest a larger production budget to re-make the film with higher production values so that it could be aired on public media (cinema, if you're interested). The higher production budget meant that the creative team could now interest production companies beyond the cheaper end of the spectrum. Asylum's frustration is that they weren't given the chance to re-make the bigger budget version. We totally hear them on this and have apologised to Ben & co. But, the notion that we somehow stole an idea and re-made it is wrong. The idea, script and both versions of the film are ours! Looking forwards, we will definitely make sure that Asylum has the opportunity to pitch on other projects. Small and dynamic production companies like Asylum are the lifeblood of our industry. We would never set out to maliciously harm them in any way.

31st August 2012 59 comments

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Comments

  • IRADVERT

    31 Aug 12, 3:05pm

    Ok, so you guys came up with an idea them the treatment but who stole the look and feel of the character from Amazon's Danbo? Its sloppy work all around really http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/danbo-amazon-cardboard-robot-photos/

  • Leo

    31 Aug 12, 4:30pm

    Funny thing is...asylumfilms version has far more depth and soul than the big budget production one! Here's an idea... start showing the original to set things right!

  • Atom

    31 Aug 12, 5:13pm

    The company who picked up the campaign and remade it are in fact a small company themselves and it looks like they did a magnificent job on it so it's a shame that their work isn't being celebrated as it deserves. Sounds like Leo Burnett should have informed Asylum that the campaign was becoming bigger and they'd chosen another company to make it but as far as designs and ideas are concerned, they belong to Leo Burnett and Asylum's reaction was born out of frustration. Bashing what is clearly a very accomplished project from another company who probably worked very hard to make it look brilliant is just wrong. Bravo to the people involved on making the new campaign from the small production company, they deserve credit for making something good as well as putting up with being caught in the middle of something which bears no reflection on their effort.

  • Tom

    31 Aug 12, 5:35pm

    I understand your comments - and I agree that you're probably not in the wrong.

    But.. the Asylum reel made me cry! The second attempt didn't: it seemed far too rushed. The music is too up-beat, and you can't even really tell that you're in a hospital.

    I agree with Leo - start putting out the original instead. You'll get a lot of +ve PR from it.

  • Doc73

    31 Aug 12, 5:50pm

    I agree with Atom. What a shame for Blac Ionica. They did a lovely job worthy of the silver screen. The original is fine but it's longer and was made for a different reason.

    The intellectual property belongs to Leo Burnett and they chose somebody else. No need to act like it's some sort of vendetta against small company's or young creative work when it's entirely untrue.

    I'd like to hear the other company's view. They made a good film and deserve due credit and recognition in my humble opinion. Asylum were incorrect in their view that this new company were considerably bigger than they are.

  • Doc73

    31 Aug 12, 5:50pm

    I agree with Atom. What a shame for Blac Ionica. They did a lovely job worthy of the silver screen. The original is fine but it's longer and was made for a different reason.

    The intellectual property belongs to Leo Burnett and they chose somebody else. No need to act like it's some sort of vendetta against small company's or young creative work when it's entirely untrue.

    I'd like to hear the other company's view. They made a good film and deserve due credit and recognition in my humble opinion. Asylum were incorrect in their view that this new company were considerably bigger than they are.

  • Chloe

    31 Aug 12, 6:02pm

    Hear hear!

    Well done Asylum for looking both petty and unprofessional at once. Playing the victim when in reality you've stolen another small company's moment to shine.

  • Chloe

    31 Aug 12, 6:02pm

    Hear hear!

    Well done Asylum for looking both petty and unprofessional at once. Playing the victim when in reality you've stolen another small company's moment to shine.

  • Doc73

    31 Aug 12, 6:04pm

    I wouldn't blame Asylum as that surely wasn't their intention, although your comment is definitely on the money Chloe. Blac Ionica deserve a real shout out for working hard and not rising to all the unfair commentary on their work.

  • Dana Sants

    31 Aug 12, 6:23pm

    Asylum Films already made it clear that the concept was from LB... BUT the treatment/execution was Asylum's and was BLATANTLY copied.

    In my humble opinion, RMHC would have done better using the money for the re-production to house a family with a sick child- the original far exceeds the expensive version...

  • Chloe

    31 Aug 12, 6:29pm

    Who says this was an expensive reproduction? Big budgets don't happen on charity jobs. What if this Blac Ionica did a better job for exactly the same money or even just a little more. Expense is purely speculation. The fact that it looks expensive could be a massive credit to their skills.

    So much of people's assumptions seem to be based on an angry letter from a pissed off creative.

  • Dana Sants

    31 Aug 12, 6:35pm

    And by the way, I have not yet heard anyone from Asylum bash the new version (why would they when it is so similar to their own treatment???!!)... that commentary has all come from the public- who are the audience the ad is trying to reach!

    Obviously the fault does not lie with Atom, and no one has ever said it did. BUT it is obvious that they were told to closely copy the original, which the client had evidently loved!

    Asylum's claim is not petty- as the thousands of creatives/industry/members of the public that have responded to this have shown. It is a REAL problem, that happens every day...

    As Robert Vaughn, Lecturor in an Animation Degree points out, "Young Animators who are trying to catch a break in the industry are often having to work for little or nothing at all, On projects with "no budget" Only to find that the Hard work and many hours that they put in (for the love of the craft and the hope of a break) is completely un appreciated and someone else is recieving all of the glory . What can a Teacher of a new generation of Amimators tell their students to expect from the industry?"

  • Dana Sants

    31 Aug 12, 6:39pm

    Leo Burnett said it: "Asylum's Ben Falk did a great job for us. As a consequence, our RMHC client took the decision to invest a larger production budget to re-make the film with higher production values so that it could be aired on public media (cinema, if you're interested). The higher production budget meant that the creative team could now interest production companies beyond the cheaper end of the spectrum. "

  • Dana Sants

    31 Aug 12, 6:45pm

    Correction to above message at 6.25pm: I meant fault doesn't lie with Blac Ionica

  • Dana Sants

    31 Aug 12, 7:04pm

    By the way, I would like to congratulate Leo Burnett for contacting Asylum early in this debate, for apologizing publicly, for recognizing Asylum's excellent work etc. I think that shows genuine humility, and proper Public Relations ability (which one would hope they had!!!)

    I hope it is a sign that such actions will be a thing of the past -at least for this advertising agency. I do also hope that they give Asylum their chance in the future...

  • Handmaid

    31 Aug 12, 7:55pm

    Who did the storyboards and decided the music?

  • Larry

    31 Aug 12, 8:17pm

    I can understand both parties involved. No doubt if the agency concepted the idea its thiers and they own it to remake it as many times as they want. BUT...Asylum brought their idea to life. It was Asylum that probably concept the art direction. the mood. the tone, the lighting. This is worth something. We live in a creative world where the smallest companies and the largest feature film companies re-make concepts , but when they are re-made there is something different. A new approach. A new twist. A new look. Something different. These two projects look too similar. Asylum had a right to be upset. If we can't protect our creative approaches in this business then what's the point in presenting treatments or shooting something for spec for a client if they have the right to just copy it and not pay for those with the original creative insight and talent. If Leo Burnett showed what Asylum did to the "larger" company they hired and said "do this" then that's just wrong! Ironically had the a similar size agency take my directors treatment and give it to another Director and said "We want this.". I know this because the Line Producer hired by the other company was a friend of mine and he said he saw my Directors's treatment on the conference table when creative discussions were occuring and they used my directors treatment as a guideline. When the spots aired, it was basically my directors work producing and profited by another company and director. I feel Asylum's pain. I understand leo owns the idea and we are all work for hire.....but without a little integrity in the business it will all fall a part. That's my 2 cents...

  • LC

    31 Aug 12, 8:21pm

    Kind of see your point Das but Chloe is right that much is based on speculation. What about the young animators working for Blac Ionica?

    The fact that everybody appears to be missing is that this is a cawas creampaign for a great cause and now there are two films that both have real charm to promote that cause. One was created for one reason and the other was made for r this. a wider campaign. Both are equally important and it does seem a bit unprofessional of Asylum to cause a scandal over this rather than approach it more professionally but the real scandal would be to ignore the good intentions of this commercial.

  • an Editor

    31 Aug 12, 8:45pm

    Whether you agree with Asylum's letter or not, the point to take away from this is that in general, agencies screw their suppliers - big and small. Agencies often hire production or post production companies on the cheap for internal videos, rips, etc.. These companies pull off miracles, working nights and weekends for practically nothing. They are usually told that they will be remembered when the rip goes to full production, etc. but often, as in this case, the agency never looks back. There are all sorts of reasons (excuses) but it usually comes down to "star-fucking", boondoggling or just plain douchebaggery. It's the agency's prerogative to bring their work to whomever they please but it would be nice if every once in a while, they would remember the suppliers that helped them along the way. Besides, if Asylum hadn't done such a great job on the internal version, would the RMHC have reproduced the same creative?

  • LeoBurnett

    01 Sep 12, 12:00am

    What would I say?

    When to take my name off the door'

    "Somewhere along the line, after I’m finally off the premises, you – or your successors – may want to take my name off the premises, too.

    You may want to call yourselves " Twain, Rogers, Sawyer and Finn, Inc."….. or "Ajax Advertising" or something.

    That will certainly be OK with me – if it’s good for you.

    But let me tell you when I might demand that you take my name off the door.

    That will be the day when you spend more time trying to make money and less time making advertising – our kind of advertising.

    When you forget that the sheer fun of ad making and the lift you get out of it – the creative climate of the place – should be as important as money to the very special breed of writers and artists and business professionals who compose this company of ours – and make it tick.

    When you lose that restless feeling that nothing you do is ever quite good enough.

    When you lose your itch to the job well for it’s sake – regardless of the client, or money, or the effort it takes.

    When you lose your passion for thoroughness…you hatred of loose ends.

    When you stop reaching the manner, the overtones, the marriage of words and pictures that produce the fresh, the memorable and the believable effect.

    When you stop rededicating yourselves every day to the idea that better advertising is what the Leo Burnett Company is about.

    When you are no longer what Thoreau called "a corporation with a conscience" – which means to me, a corporation of conscientious men and women.

    When you begin to compromise your integrity – which has always been the heart’s blood – the very guts of this agency.

    When you stoop to convenient expediency and rationalize yourselves into acts of opportunism – for the sake of a fast buck.

    When you show the slightest sign of crudeness, inappropriateness or smart –aleckness – and you lose that subtle sense of the fitness of things.

    When your main interest becomes a matter of size just to be big - rather that good, hard, wonderful work.

    When your outlook narrows down to the number of windows – from zero to five – in the walls of your office.

    When you lose your humility and become big-short wisenheimers…. a little bit too big for your boots.

    When the apples come down to being just apples for eating (or for polishing) – no longer part of our tone or personality.

    When you disprove of something, and start tearing the hell out of the man who did it rather than the work itself.

    When you stop building on strong and vital ideas, and start a routine production line.

    When you start believing that, in the interest of efficiency, a creative spirit and the urge to create can be delegated and administrated, and forget that they can only be nurtured, stimulated, and inspired.

    When you start giving lip service to this being a "creative agency" and stop really being one.

    Finally, when you lose your respect for the lonely man – the man at his typewriter or his drawing board or behind his camera or just scribbling notes with one of our big pencils – or working all night on a media plan. When you forget that the lonely man – and thank God for him – has made the agency we now have – possible. When you forget he’s the man who, because he is reaching harder, sometimes actually gets hold of for a moment - one of those hot, unreachable stars.

    THAT, boys and girls, is when I shall insist you take my name off the door. And by golly, it will be taken off the door. Even if have to materialize long enough some night to rub it out myself - on every one of our floors. And before I DE-materialize again, I will paint out that star-reaching symbol too. And burn all the stationary. Perhaps tear up a few ads in passing.

    And throw every god-damned apple down the elevator shafts.

    You just won’t know the place, the next morning. You’ll have to find another name."


    Editor's note.
    We're not in the habit of deleting blog comments, but would like to make it clear that this one, written under the name of Leo Burnett and quoting the 'when to take my name off the door' speech in full, was not posted by a Leo Burnett employee.

  • learned the hard way

    01 Sep 12, 12:08am

    Kudos to you Leo Burnett for spinning this to make yourselves the victim here. You're guilty of nothing other than business as usual in this industry. I'm sure you didn't lead this production company along to think you might actually repay them with real work down the road. Good grief, this is sad on so many levels.

  • Lonely man...

    01 Sep 12, 2:04am

    "Finally, when you lose your respect for the lonely man – the man at his typewriter or his drawing board or behind his camera or just scribbling notes with one of our big pencils – or working all night on a media plan. When you forget that the lonely man – and thank God for him – has made the agency we now have – possible. When you forget he’s the man who, because he is reaching harder, sometimes actually gets hold of for a moment - one of those hot, unreachable stars...."

    Sounds like it's time to find another name.

  • Trollingtom

    01 Sep 12, 8:57am

    Why not just move on and make more movies for the ill kids. We should all be making copies. Nothing is original. http://t.co/50t7Y2ds

  • HypocrisyFighter

    01 Sep 12, 10:31am

    Time to take your name off the door.

  • Dick Nenton

    01 Sep 12, 1:09pm

    So Leo Burnett screws another striving service provider. My company, when it was small, also put up with this sort of blatant abuse from Leo Burnett and their ilk -- breakback deadlines, budgets that ensured we were working for free, etc. -- with implied promises of great collaborations in the future. Bollocks. This is the same old same old for these conniving bastards, one of the many reasons we no longer work with ad agencies.

    PS The newer version is treacle. Asylum did better work on a smaller budget in a tighter timeframe.

    PPS Time to take your name off the door.

  • Tom Pepper

    01 Sep 12, 1:50pm

    The power of social media. True democracy!

  • Greg Garcia

    01 Sep 12, 4:29pm

    This is common and nothing new. An unfortunate series of events but this won't be the last time this happens ... unfortunately. Same thing happens to my studio every year. Ad agencies are a business first and everything else is second. Come to accept this and you will get far in the current industry if not then disappointment is just around the corner. The industry is what it is.

    When you do something creative for money its business and should be treated as such. No one will do you any favors nor should you expect any. Sad but true.

  • Leo Burnett

    01 Sep 12, 4:58pm

    Offensive content removed

    Editor's note:
    For reference, any comments you see on this thread under the name 'Leo Burnett' are not coming from Leo Burnett employees.

  • Russ

    01 Sep 12, 10:51pm

    Leo Burnett's states "here's the truth" I think you mean "here's our version of the truth".

    The only regret you have is that this bit you guys on the ass - I don't read an apology here from LB, I see the same arrogance displayed by many on agencies.

    LB, you plucked a chicken in the wind and if you think you can go back and stuff the feather's back in, then you're not as media savvy as you perhaps think.

  • Brent Altomare

    02 Sep 12, 4:25am

    I think the strangest thing for me is why didn't LeoBurnett at least give Asylum the opportunity to pitch/do boards on the bigger budget version of the project? That just seems odd considering how well received the original seems to have been.

  • Russ

    02 Sep 12, 9:16am

    @ Brent

    I think many of us are thinking the same thing.

    What's even more astounding is LB thinking we swallow the idea that Asylum will ever be asked to pitch again, knowing how small minded and vindictive these guys are, I think we all have more chance of flying to the moon unaided, than them ever letting Asylum pitch again.

    If they didn't ask Asylum to do it before this, then why would they after being called out in public by them? PR BS.

  • Russ

    02 Sep 12, 9:20am

    BTW - you came up with the idea did you?

    I suppose you have a team in Japan on this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVvYmfs8T8&feature=youtubegdata_player

  • Josh Smith

    03 Sep 12, 1:07pm

    I think the saddest thing of all is that I was not surprised in the slightest Asylum got screwed.

    Leo Burnett is no worse than the rest of them. Just a shame, they all are as bad as eachother.

  • Boo

    03 Sep 12, 3:21pm

    " At no point were we consulted on this or even told about it happening as a courtesy, and certainly not asked about our ability to create this new version"

    THAT IS THE PROBLEM!

    You never even gave them a chance, you ignored them after all their efforts.

    And the funny thing is the newer version isn't a touch on theirs. Why didn't the creative director think 'wait a minute the other one is better' ?

    But you guys (and Leo Burnett Staff who are retaliating on this) can say what you want, the original idea has a character rip off of the AMAZON DANBO and is similar to the BLUR VIDEO- so screw originality and who owns what.

    It's just sad that this is all around a charity

  • Dana Sants

    03 Sep 12, 4:17pm

    I believe the person whose comments you are removing is actually quoting the original LEO BURNETT (retirement speech 1967) http://standupstrategy.org/2012/06/23/when-to-take-my-name-off-the-door/

    "When you forget that the sheer fun of ad making and the lift you get out of it – the creative climate of the place – should be as important as money to the very special breed of writers and artists and business professionals who compose this company of ours – and make it tick...¨?

    Editor's note
    Yes, that's a famous speech around these parts and we're very familiar with it! You may have seen that we've tacked on a disclaimer to that comment just to say that the post was in the name 'Leo Burnett', but didn't actually originate from a Leo Burnett employee. As for the comments we removed - they were from an entirely different person posting falsely under the Leo Burnett name; these comments were of a highly offensive nature and didn't come under the heading of 'reasoned debate'...

  • adam comiskey

    03 Sep 12, 4:41pm

    i think the whole thing has been a tremendous success and i will be buying a big mac meal on my way home

  • An Advertising Production Guy

    03 Sep 12, 8:12pm

    Shame on you Leo Burnett! SHAME ON YOU! I am so sick of these agencies ripping off production companies just because they can. SHAME ON LEO BURNETT.

    and the original film was MUCH better.

  • Dana Sants

    03 Sep 12, 9:37pm

    Thanks for the clarification.

  • Just another production company

    04 Sep 12, 3:47am

    Oh Leo Burnett, you sure can spin quite a web. We have created from scratch so many ads for your company, with the promise of the big one coming next, that we do not do work with your company as a whole anymore. We get the boards, we manipulate the boards and make it work with your paltry budget. Who has intellectual property here? As the production company producer, I've pretty well shuttled your 18 year old ad executives off to Starbucks to book their on-line reservations at Cannes and have taken your spot to the podium. Why don't you call me again? Oh yeah, the "next production company" has rented a bigger chateau for their Cannes party and has given out the newest version of an ipad as a gift to you. No, Leo Burnett, I will not pick up your call or answer a text or email from you. I don't go to Cannes and will not babysit your agency people at South By South West - you guys stink.

  • Anon

    04 Sep 12, 9:17am

    It may be legal for LB to take it to another company, but I do feel that it is completely immoral for them to take the director's work elsewhere. It undermines the value of our industry and the importance of creative skills and work.

    While this may seem like an emotional appeal, I'm glad someone has named-and-shamed LB. I just hope other agencies won't look at this letter in a negative light.

    I'd also like to add that I don't understand why they had to rip-off the Danbo character from 'Yotsuba&!'. It seemed relevant for the Amazon brand, as they're all about boxes of delivery, but it just doesn't tie in with RMCH as well as it did for Amazon. Just seems to be trendy for the sake of it.

    In terms of the actual production, I do think the Asylum treatment, while less 'smooth and shiny', does feel more emotional. The colour grading is not so bright and beautiful, it's dull and depressing right up until just before the ending, as it should be. The music choice is much better as well, I'm sure it wouldn't have been difficult for a big company like LB to swing a synch license for cinema.

  • Anon

    04 Sep 12, 9:17am

    It may be legal for LB to take it to another company, but I do feel that it is completely immoral for them to take the director's work elsewhere. It undermines the value of our industry and the importance of creative skills and work.

    While this may seem like an emotional appeal, I'm glad someone has named-and-shamed LB. I just hope other agencies won't look at this letter in a negative light.

    I'd also like to add that I don't understand why they had to rip-off the Danbo character from 'Yotsuba&!'. It seemed relevant for the Amazon brand, as they're all about boxes of delivery, but it just doesn't tie in with RMCH as well as it did for Amazon. Just seems to be trendy for the sake of it.

    In terms of the actual production, I do think the Asylum treatment, while less 'smooth and shiny', does feel more emotional. The colour grading is not so bright and beautiful, it's dull and depressing right up until just before the ending, as it should be. The music choice is much better as well, I'm sure it wouldn't have been difficult for a big company like LB to swing a synch license for cinema.

  • Broxy

    04 Sep 12, 10:07am

    I don't see what the problem is. Asylum did a good job on the original, they should be pleased the original worked out so much better than the higher budget remake and be pleased they were not involved with making a poor commercial re-make. I can't believe Asylum have also shot themselves in the foot, writing this pointless open letter...It's not a good way to work.

    Have Asylum maybe considered that Leo Burnett, found it hard working with them and choose to work with one of their regular clients who they knew could deliver without problems....

    And ripping of Amazon photos....come on, that's a stupid comment.

  • Jesus

    04 Sep 12, 10:17am

    I just love the fact that this is the only post on the entire existence of the blog that has generated more than 2 comments from readers (with a vast majority of them with no comments at all) -- shows that there really isn't much to talk about coming out of LB London at the end of the day, doesn't it...

  • Mickaleen

    04 Sep 12, 11:30am

    "This is the vote of the Dublin jury.... ASYLUM DOUZE POINTS.... ASYLUM TWE..." - etc.

  • Anon

    04 Sep 12, 1:00pm

    Broxy, are you actually blind? Have you looked at the Amazon JP advert on YouTube VS. the Asylum version? At least they legally licensed the design from the 'Yobato&!' creator. There is a huge online community doing fan-made models of Danbo, these creatives probably went online, ripped it off and ran away with it. Black Ionic's final version may be a different design, but only because they realised it's too close of a design rip-off. Mark my words.

  • Insomnicide

    05 Sep 12, 6:24am

    LB's comments couldn't be more passive aggressive. Did somebody get caught with their hand in the cookie jar?

  • Direct to client

    05 Sep 12, 9:06am

    Proof that agencies are c*nts worldwide

  • Small fry

    05 Sep 12, 9:12am

    They probably haven't paid them for it either !

  • Boo

    05 Sep 12, 9:49am

    BROXY "Come on that's a stupid comment"

    You can't argue the fact that your creatives copied someone else's character.

    This feed is hilarious.

  • harry demey

    05 Sep 12, 12:50pm

    success has many fathers..... but when shit happens it should be discussed between parties and not in the open. guys, have a beer with each other and act like adults. this is not good for the entire industry.

  • Bojuan

    05 Sep 12, 6:31pm

    Quite right. "This" is not good for the entire industry. However "this" refers to the broader picture of what has happened here...not this blog. In my opinion 2 things have happened in this industry that ties into this situation. First, the old days where agencies were 'creative' and production was largely relegated to technicians are over. More and more 'small shops' whether design or production/post are staffing epic creative talent....and moreso these shops are more and more working directly for clients, bypassing the need for the agency altogether with regard to these types of projects. These small shops are producing such good creative (wait for it)...because they haven't grown to behemoth proportions filled 10 layers deep with people who all must 'mark' a project. The budgets, time and layers of creative management within large agencies has ballooned to ridiculous proportion! It is rare,....very rare when any shred of creative can climb the ladder unscathed! We have all been there when the brainstorming session yields a fantastic concept, once which is fresh, on target and the client would love! And we watch the concept travel up the ladder....getting molested at each step,...till finally it comes back down a withered, vanilla, piece of stale bunt cake.

    LBL was certainly technically and legally within their right to do what they did. Yet at the same time did their actions yield a better piece? Arguably, no. It yielded a shinier, more synthetic, polished and 'perfect' piece....yet one devoid of the life that was in Asylums offering,...and this 'life' was perceived somewhere along the agencies ladder of layers as being 'not good,...not pro...wrong'...so it was "fixed".

    Asylum should fear not,....just as in the 90's small design shops couldn't compete against the Novacoms and Pittards,.which ultimately fell from their own epic girth.... today the creative is shifting from the titanics, as economically and creatively who wants to support the fat, stale and slow in light of the nimble, fast and fresh?

  • Bojuan

    05 Sep 12, 6:42pm

    Quite right. "This" is not good for the entire industry. However "this" refers to the broader picture of what has happened here...not this blog. In my opinion 2 things have happened in this industry that ties into this situation. First, the old days where agencies were 'creative' and production was largely relegated to technicians are over. More and more 'small shops' whether design or production/post are staffing epic creative talent....and moreso these shops are more and more working directly for clients, bypassing the need for the agency altogether with regard to these types of projects. These small shops are producing such good creative (wait for it)...because they haven't grown to behemoth proportions filled 10 layers deep with people who all must 'mark' a project. The budgets, time and layers of creative management within large agencies has ballooned to ridiculous proportion! It is rare,....very rare when any shred of creative can climb the ladder unscathed! We have all been there when the brainstorming session yields a fantastic concept, once which is fresh, on target and the client would love! And we watch the concept travel up the ladder....getting molested at each step,...till finally it comes back down a withered, vanilla, piece of stale bunt cake.

    LBL was certainly technically and legally within their right to do what they did. Yet at the same time did their actions yield a better piece? Arguably, no. It yielded a shinier, more synthetic, polished and 'perfect' piece....yet one devoid of the life that was in Asylums offering,...and this 'life' was perceived somewhere along the agencies ladder of layers as being 'not good,...not pro...wrong'...so it was "fixed".

    Asylum should fear not,....just as in the 90's small design shops couldn't compete against the Novacoms and Pittards,.which ultimately fell from their own epic girth.... today the creative is shifting from the titanics, as economically and creatively who wants to support the fat, stale and slow in light of the nimble, fast and fresh?

  • Mason Poe

    06 Sep 12, 1:40am

    I think it is unfortunate that the brilliant people of Leo Burnett did not recognize the merit and beauty of the Asylum version. The 'high production' remake has no soul...

  • Bev Gorman

    06 Sep 12, 7:14am

    At'd be tragic in the creators of Danbo sue Asylum. That would be classic.

  • Priceline Negotiator

    06 Sep 12, 2:41pm

    Man this is tragic. Moral is to shut up and play the cards properly. They fucked up and now they look like a raggety shop. I understand how they feel but am guessing they will lose work over this. It just makes them look dificult to work with. They were trying to hijack the clients decision making by going viral. Unfortunately they only embarrassed themselves. They definitely ripped off Danbo. No question. I personally believe this industry is going to implode. There’s no way to stop the artists from ripping off stuff.

    Artist think they are the shit, meanwhile 85% of them use, rip off and/or trace stock elements, type tricks or other spots in some way. And they act like gods, but they really aren’t REAL artists. Thoughts? Is this industry a sham?? LOL?

  • Zorbatron the MadeUpName

    07 Sep 12, 7:00pm

    The fact is this.

    Regardless of the merits of Asylum's case, this has touched a nerve because so many of us have had work appropriated by advertising 'creatives' without attribution or had work we've been paid to create celebrated without a mention of our role in its creation.

    I know I'm not the only one this has happened to. It happens all the time. It's made me very angry.

    I expect that most of the people you pay to do your creative heavy lifting really can't stand you. If you didn't pay me, I wouldn't be anonymous.

  • Bojuan

    10 Sep 12, 12:05pm

    "...Artist think they are the shit, meanwhile 85% of them use, rip off and/or trace stock elements, type tricks or other spots in some way. And they act like gods, but they really aren’t REAL artists. Thoughts? Is this industry a sham?? LOL?...."

    Simple question regarding the above quote. Who do you think ask the artists to do this?.....The Agency. The agency always rolls in with a spot or ref...and says "Oh...we love this. Do this. Ofcourse don't copy it......but we want it like this".

    And they act like gods?.....lol. The designers, along with the production/post shops are at the bottom of the shit pile. They don't act like anything,......they are always so beaten down from Agency idiocracy and scheduling they are rarely if ever in a position to 'act' like anything except perhaps surprised when an agency asks for less than 6 days work within a 2 day turn.

    Is this industry a sham? What industry?.....Advertising has certainly taken a turn for the worse over the last 20 years that's for sure.

  • katie

    13 Sep 12, 3:20pm

    This has touched a nerve within the creative community because ultimately, young talent and hard work was mistreated and overlooked, due to arrogance and selfishness.

    Yes, that is the way the ad-world works. No, it isn't right. Time for a change? I think so.

    Note: The LBL/ Asylum version did license the Danbo character. It wasn't highly creative of LBL to use this character but it was by no means a copyright infringement, just to set that record straight.

    Asylum made a risky move - it will perhaps not benefit them in the long run, but I hope is someway it will. They deserve someone to believe in them. I have worked with the guys before, they are run by four sweet, talented individuals who will go above and beyond to deliver. They aren't going to get a six figure job anytime soon but could definitely do a great job on anything up to £500k projects.

    I think perhaps what a company (ahem, Leo Burnett London) should do now, is to create a campaign that encourages support for young talent. It would take nothing more than a mock-up department and could win them a few small jobs for clients with a bit of heart. (If clients with heart exist that is).

    It is common knowledge that agencies use the same production companies time... and time... again. The same directors, too. This does NOTHING for the industry except make the rich, richer and the poor, poorer. Why can't agencies have to give younger production companies work to keep the industry alive? I know they need high standards to win jobs and keep clients happy but few could argue that Asylum's £4k job for them showcases that companies like this, directors like this, at least deserve a shot!! C'mon, let's face it they basically won LB a job through their handwork and creativity and didn't even get a thank you. Asylum continued to build this relationship with them only to be patronised with false hope. Of course, they would feel let down.

    As for the going public thing? Yep, it was a bold move! Do I agree with it? I'm not sure. I do for the sake of the industry but for them? They sort of have become a lamb out for slaughter... I think the could do with a bit of support. If you were to meet them, you'd know they aren't dicks. Just see the blog comments from other client, like me, that have worked with them singing their praise.

    Quite frankly, small production companies don't have the budget to spoil the agency rotten and so this is why Asylum didn't get the job. I have friends both sides of the field and this is how it works!

    The state of the ad-world is not a good one. Tbh, there is very little work on TV that is inspiring or ground-breaking? Why not give the little guys a chance. Try something new. Make a change. For god's sake.

  • Hans

    18 Sep 12, 8:12am

    Leo's actions are quite simply disgusting. As Asylum pointed out, they busted themselves to make a nice film, on a very restricted budget. They did that in the hope of gaining further work. To not even give them the opportunity to bid for the larger budgeted version is the action of elitist turds. The notion is that because someone did a job for a reduced budget, that they couldn't perform on the bigger budgeted job is the thinking of people with heads too far up their own selves but sadly its all too common.

    And you know who the agency will turn to when they need another freebie or cheapie - the bigger production company "oh no they are too important, lets get those little people again." This story represents everything thats wrong with advertising agencies and the cool hunting mentality but at least we can all breath easier with the knowledge that agencies are going down the gurgler faster then Prince Harry at a 16 year olds birthday party.

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