Bloggin’ boffin Dr Scott Aaronson isn’t a happy quantum brainiac. Engineer/scientist Scott says that Aussie ad company Love Communicastions has blatantly ripped off a portion of his lecture almost word for word. More, they’re using his words as copy for a TV ad promoting Ricoh printers. (The Ad is now on YouTube.) Almost 200 blog comments support Scotty’s view.
Sydney agency Love, part of the Photon Group, has apparently issued an apology that Aaronson thinks is, well, half-assed. As Love MD Glen Campbell has denied his company creatives lazily ripped off Dr Aaronson – citing merely accidental or incidental reproductions of the work – why did they issue an apology? And how accidental can word-for-word theft really be?
“I got an email from the company basically saying we apologise and that we (they) contacted a lawyer and our (Love’s) lawyer says we didn’t violate any copyright,” Dr Aaronson said.
So, from a PR disaster view, just another example of an Ad campaign stirring up a mini-PR gaffe, and evidence of some pretty bolshie and inept stakeholder relations (and media-facing communications). I mean, why not just pay Aaronson a mini-licence fee or give him a free printer (which the Doc has flagged he wants)? Is it that hard, or is it because your lawyers have advised you how to handle this, Love?
*Incidentally, Love was the agency linked to Vodafone’s ‘rugby streakers’ PR disaster row that dropped the Telco in hot water downunder some years back (read in my PR Disasters book).
Hat tip to The Age for this story flag.