COPY PASTE – or how to make advertising agen­cies shiver with a book

ArabAd - - BOOKSHELF -

This is the ti­tle of the world’s best known copy­cat hunter’s third pub­li­ca­tion to date, which will be avail­able this Septem­ber. Though books about advertising are sup­posed to be a source of in­spi­ra­tion; yet here is Joe La Pompe tak­ing the op­po­site ap­proach. It’s not be­cause the 572 ad cam­paigns com­piled therein are bad, au con­traire: many have been pre­sented at ma­jor fes­ti­vals and some have even won awards. What’s re­ally at stake here, is the mat­ter of true orig­i­nal­ity, con­sid­er­ing that many of these not so cre­ative ef­forts are ac­tual re­pro­duc­tions. Whether they have been de­lib­er­ately pla­gia­rised or are the re­sult of un­lucky co­in­ci­dence, is open to in­ter­pre­ta­tion. So, feel free to judge for your­self and make your opin­ion heard by leav­ing re­marks at var­i­ously-as­signed hash­tags that ap­pear through­out the work and are di­rectly linked to the web­site joe­ The pref­ace of the book is writ­ten by

Mark Tun­gate, Epica's Ed­i­to­rial Direc­tor, who ques­tions whether any cre­ative work is truly orig­i­nal or not con­sid­er­ing that, “Most, if not all works of art and lit­er­a­ture, bor­row from one an­other sim­ply be­cause they have their roots in far ear­lier

cre­ations.” He backs this point with plenty of ex­am­ples and fi­nally con­cludes that “For one to cre­ate some­thing truly orig­i­nal, one needs to be him/her self.” The book also in­cludes an in­ter­view with the au­thor con­ducted by Jérôme Rudoni, renowned copy­writer and strate­gist at an agency called Mai­son Moderne. In it, La Pompe ex­plains the is­sue of his own anonymity say­ing, “Keep­ing my face masked is a way of stay­ing in the back­ground, but also a way of main­tain­ing my free­dom to crit­i­cise.” In dis­cussing his book, the au­thor re­marked that “The ads fea­tured in this book were all pre­sented as orig­i­nal, in­no­va­tive and ‘firsts’ when they came out, which was false. Even worse, they sought

to be re­warded for it.” He also ex­plained that cre­atives rarely in­vent some­thing new, rather rein­vent pre­vi­ous work and the ex­am­ples fea­tured in the book are used to de­nounce this ap­proach.

La Pompe then clar­i­fies that he re­ally is not out to tar­get and sully rep­u­ta­tions, rather ex­press con­cern about the pro­fes­sion as a whole by ques­tion­ing why, “This prob­lem is be­ing per­ma­nently swept un­der the car­pet, side-lined, although it’s a key is­sue.”

Although this book is not go­ing to change much, he nonethe­less firmly be­lieves that his fight is not in vain. “The aware­ness is there and peo­ple have be­come afraid of get­ting caught. Whether I’m here or not, no copy­cat can be sure of get­ting away with it any­more and that makes me quite op­ti­mistic.”

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