Mo­bile war in­ten­si­fies

Finweek English Edition - - ADVERTISING&MARKETING -

HOW MUCH DAM­AGE has Grant Ja­cob­sen done with his dis­parag­ing cam­paign for Cell C pok­ing fun at his for­mer em­ployer – Draft­fcb – and for­mer client Vo­da­com? South African courts are no­to­ri­ously tight-fisted with defama­tion claims, but in in­sti­gat­ing court ac­tion against Ja­cob­sen, Vo­da­com has sig­nalled it takes this case very se­ri­ously.

On the face of it, it’s no more se­ri­ous than nu­mer­ous other cases that nor­mally end up with a slap on the wrist for the of­fend­ing agency from the Ad­ver­tis­ing Stan­dards Au­thor­ity. But Draft­fcb/ Vo­da­com is ex­pected to ar­gue there are a cou­ple of points of vi­tal dif­fer­ence.

For one, Ja­cob­sen worked on the Vo­da­com ac­count be­fore go­ing to DDB – where he’s work­ing on the Cell C ac­count – and could have taken with him in­valu­able in­for­ma­tion about Vo­da­com’s strat­egy and think­ing. For an­other, Cell C’s on­screen per­sona – co­me­dian Trevor Noah – sniffs that the Vo­da­com re­brand­ing was noth­ing more than “a lick of paint”, whereas Vo­da­com could ar­gue it was merely the first stage of a lengthy process. While know­ing that, Cell C nev­er­the­less may have por­trayed the Vo­da­com cam­paign as su­per­fi­cial and un­pro­fes­sional.

Why is DDB in­volved any­way? Ogilvy won the R200m Cell C ac­count af­ter end­ing up with DDB on a short­list of two. And while Ogilvy is the lead agency, DDB works on in­di­vid­ual projects.

Is this the first time in ad­ver­tis­ing his­tory a cre­ative per­son par­o­died his own work? Ja­cob­sen, now ex­ec­u­tive cre­ative di­rec­tor at DDB, is be­ing

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