In an effort to protect their intellectual property and rights under the Copyright Act, JSSI, the makers of Lugz footwear has issued a ‘cease and desist’ letter to Apple and their advertising agency TBW/Chiat/Day.
Lugz maintains that Apple’s New Silhouette Commercial featuring hip-hop performer Eminem, has strikingly obvious Similarities To 2002 Lugz footwear campaign
Lugz campaingn featured an anonymous silhouette man set against an urban scene in red, orange, yellow and black and brought to life by the rap music of Funkmaster Flex. Just recently, Apple unveiled their new ad campaign featuring the silhouette of Eminem set against an urban scene in red, orange, yellow and black.
Since then, says Lugz in making its case, experts in media and advertising have acknowledged the strikingly obvious similarities between the two commercials and the issue has garnered national attention in The New York Times, “Is Imitation Flattery, Theft or Just Coincidence?” and ADWEEK, “Is Apple’s Eminem Spot Too Much of an Encore?”
“If you look at these spots, common sense would tell you that there’s a problem here. The Apple commercial uses the most powerful elements of our campaign, making the ads disturbingly similar,” said Larry Schwartz, executive vice president and principal of Lugz. “We are prepared to vigorously pursue all legal remedies in order to protect our rights.”
Apple and agency TBWA have been maintaining that the ad campaign was not filched from Lugz.
The Lugz “Arrow” ad can be viewed by visiting http://www.lugz.com/timeline/index.html clicking on 2002 and then “Fall 2002 Advertising Campaign”. The Apple “Detroit” ad can be viewed by visiting http://www.apple.com/itunes/ads/.