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Filipino agency behind Pantene ‘Labels against women’ viral ad denies allegations of plagiarism

Original or copy?

Original or copy?

The Filipino ad agency behind a highly acclaimed ad for a shampoo brand that went viral earlier this month has denied allegations of plagiarism.

BBDO Guerrero, which produced a video that rallies against the discrimination of women for Procter & Gamble haircare brand Pantene, has said that similarities in the ad to a video created three years ago for US TV series The Glee Project are “coincidental”.

The Pantene ad, which a former boss of Leo Burnett Manila has accused of plagiarism, has been viewed more than 17m times on YouTube at the time of writing.

The client, P&G Philippines marketing director Raffy Fajardo, has also defended the agency, saying he has received assurances from BBDO Guerrero that the ad was not a copy.

Similarities between the two films include the concept of attacking discrimination, and the use of British eighties band Tears for Fears’ ‘Mad World’ song.

BBDO Guerrero’s ‘Labels against women’ ad for Pantene:

The Glee Project video from 2011:

Fajardo told Philippine news site ABS-CBN: “We have recently been made aware of allegations of plagiarism concerning the Philippines Pantene viral video ‘Labels.’ We have received assurances from our creative partner BBDO that no plagiarism took place in the development of the video. In fact, the ‘Labels’ creative team were not aware of the Glee Project ‘Mad World’ video when the Pantene video was written and produced.”

“This campaign is all about the issue of gender bias and double standards that women continue to fight. We hope that we can help bring people together to raise more awareness and action on this important issue,” the client said.

The allegations come after two other copycatting scandals in the Philippines earlier this year.

Last month, local agency J Romero & Associates accused rivals Leo Burnett and DDB DM9 of apeing its ads for Shakey’s Pizza Parlor with ads for McDonald’s and Smart Communications.

In late July, DDB DM9 publicly apologised in a national newspaper to rival Saatchi & Saatchi Manila for using copy in a house ad that had been written by a copywriter while he was working for Saatchi & Saatchi.

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