Germans take Lebanese plagiarism in their stride

When Jean-Remy von Matt, founder of respected German ad agency Jung von Matt, discovered that one of his TV commercials had been comprehensively ripped off by a Lebanese agency, he reacted with typical German composure.

Instead of fuming at the fact that Jung von Matt/Limmat’s TVC for Migros chicken in Switzerland had been copied frame-for-frame by a Beirut-based agency called Publimatt, he launched an online competition offering a free weekend in Lebanon or Switzerland.

Publimatt’s ad for Hawa chicken in Lebanon was busted as a piece of plagiarism by French copycat hunter Joe La Pompe at the end of last month, but Jung von Matt only found out later. The Hawa ad is virtually identical to its Migros counterpart, right down to the music – Migros, The Chicken Song – which was composed by Massive Amsterdam especially for the Migros spot.

“Instead of being offended, we used this ‘coincidence’ to publish a little contest, where people had to vote whether the Lebanese chicken or our Swiss chicken was first,” said von Matt. The competition website said: “Which chicken hatched first? And which one is the copy-chicken?”
“I have to admit that in 36 years of working in advertising, I’ve never experienced a crazy thing like this,” said von Matt.

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