BBDO refutes copycat claims over ‘Meet Graham’


Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and the BBDO network have strongly denied claims by some Cannes jurors that its multi-awarded ‘Meet Graham’ road safety film copied a British anti-smoking ad made 32 years ago (both are here).

Clemenger BBO creative chairman James McGrath says: “Clemenger BBDO Melbourne has built its reputation on originality. We are incredibly proud of that promise. How others judge it, and their motives for doing so, we do not know, nor is it any of our business.

“The ‘Meet Graham’ project was created to solve one of our client’s greatest problems. Every stage of our process, from the very initial strategy and brief, was based on a unique understanding of road safety data and the physics of road accident trauma. The problem itself identified the creative outcome.??The smoking ad referred to is a 32 years old TV spot. It was absolutely not the inspiration for the sculpture/tech based idea developed for our client.

“We’d never even heard of it.”

BBDO Worldwide CCO David Lubars says: “We were greatly disappointed and surprised to learn that ‘Meet Graham’ had been rejected from the Integrated and Titanium categories. The implication that it had drawn inspiration from a UK TV ad from over 30 years ago – aside from being preposterous – was raised and addressed at the beginning of the festival. The work then went on to be judged favourably by other juries, just as it has been judged in other award shows such as D&AD (in which Clemenger BBDO received a Black Pencil for it and was named Agency of the Year).”

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.