An ad by Malaysia-based agency Dentsu Utama has been pulled from the 4As Kancil Awards after it had won, after UK-based artist Tom Anders accused the agency of plagiarism.
Tom Anders tweeted about the work for the 'Anti-Poaching' WWF ad campaign last week, accusing the agency of copying his art. The 4As has responded by disqualifying the winning work.
— Tom Anders Watkins (@TomAnders_) December 29, 2015
Dentsu Utama has today ( 8 January) responded by quitting the 4As, according to reports, and released a statement via a post on its Facebook page: “It has come to our attention that one of our “Anti-Poaching” WWF (World Wildlife Fund) ad campaign which went on to win awards at the Kancil Awards 2015 has been highlighted for plagiarising the art-work of UK-based designer named Tom Anders.”
The comments, attributed to Omar Shaari, chief executive of Dentsu Utam, continued: “As an agency which is part of a larger global network, Dentsu Utama maintains very strict policies around the use of third party content in our creative materials and treat allegations of intellectual property infringement extremely seriously. We have since contacted Tom Anders to address this issue at hand.”
It wasn’t the only campaign from the awards to be questioned for plagiarism. Mumbrella Asia has reported that an ad for Web Privacy Watch by the same agency was penalised for being too similar to Swedish artist Erik Johanssor's 'Architect'.
The Drum has contacted Dentsu Aegis for comment but hadn’t had a reply at the time of publishing.