Cannes-Do Festival Banner

Chinese electronics brand Little Swan accused of plagiarising Hong Kong Ballet creative


By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

February 7, 2019 | 4 min read

Chinese washing machine brand Little Swan has been accused of ripping off a recent campaign for the Hong Kong Ballet, created by Design Army.

The original campaign, which was selected as an ad of the day by The Drum, relaunched a new direction for the ballet company, after appointing former Washington Ballet’s Septime Webre as its artistic director.


Little Swan has been accused of stealing creative ideas from Hong Kong Ballet

Press and social media users have been quick to highlight the similarities between the two campaigns, of which the series of images have been used in both.


In a document shared with The Drum, a series of side-by-side comparisons have been made, as well as a series of screenshots from Chinese social media, depicting people calling the brand out for copying the Hong Kong Ballet campaign.

The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.

Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.

Sign up
Little Swan

The issue of plagiarism has blighted the Chinese creative community for years, though in recent years the stories of original Chinese innovation and creativity had started to overtake its reputation as a copycat.

Little Swan

In a special magazine issue about China, The Drum recently asked, can China wave goodbye to its copycat culture? But stories like this would suggest that it’s still got some way to go.

The issue of copycat brands is not just a Chinese issue, as US streetwear brand Supreme has a direct knock-off competitor Supreme Italia that is able to exist due to loopholes in Italian law. Just recently Samsung China had announced a partnership with the counterfeit brand and had defended its actions until this week, announcing it was axing the partnership.


More from Advertising

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +