Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Canadian Artist Vs The Corporate Giant

David vs Goliath
This all began for me some years ago, when some of my friends and family seen commercials containing a diver flying in the sky. They promptly contacted me, informing me that "I seen your painting on TV." At first I was flattered and even vaguely amused . Time went by as such time does, and this person and that person including members of my family called me to inform me that they to had seen it here or there. Then in early 1993 I saw it for the first time in a Pepsi Clear commercial. I was stunned. My Earlier amusement and sense of flattery was crushed in an instant and replaced by a shattering sense of shock, outrage, and even a vague sense of fear. For this was an exact copy in that there was no sign of a diving board, no water to be seen , and they used the same swimming trunks and hair colour. Even the angle of and the way the legs and feet were positioned it was the same . The only difference was the diver or fliers body was a more popular, more streamlined physique.
I was devastated.I immediately contacted the Canada Council to verify the piece as to Canadian originality and copyright rights. I also contacted C.A.R.F.A.C. who suggested I contact the infringer, So I made an appointment to meet with Ian Tetro of currently at Pepsi Canada Toronto, Canada, only to be told that this is an international issue, the commercial had been made in the United States so I would have to deal with them. I then contacted Judy Simon, who represented Pepsi Cola at the time now at After she received a photo print of the original worked she agreed that it was an obvious copy, Apologized very nicely, and assured me that she would take care of this matter.
Unfortunately, that is not how it worked out . Judy Simon was released and no one else has taken care of this problem. In fact, Ian Tetro too was moved to Asia. What proceeded then was what one would consider to be a run around. For the first year I spent endless hours, at considerable expense to get to the bottom of this. I repeatedly contacted Pepsi and The ad Agency B.B.D.O in an effort to to get information and copies of the original video used in the making of the commercial. Instead of cooperation, both companies again and again put me off I wanted to deal with this issue , Not in the courts, but businessman to businessman, I had to enlist the aid of lawyers (at Added expense) to get any cooperation at all, though what cooperation there was little enough.
Pepsi was telling me that it was B.B.D.O.'s problem as they did the advertisement, and B.B.D.O Raymond (alias Skip) Mcgovern was claiming Pepsi was totally responsible as it was there ad and they OK'ed the advertisement. I was told that the inspiration for the commercial came from elsewhere and he suggested a Ban roll on ad and a sporting goods logo as the place of origin. Until I pointed out both of these images were copyrighted and aired after the Crystal Pepsi commercial was created. The images they provided held very little similarity's, none of them were of a man taking a courageous dive into an endless sky with no horizon or view of the world beyond,but showed such mundane sights as a swimmer diving into water.
B.B.D.O. front man I'll handle it Raymond (alias Skip) Macgovern

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