Ogilvy India takes smartphone maker Vivo and Dentsu Impact to court in alleged plagiarism row

Ogilvy India could win Rs one crore (approximately S$192,000) after taking smartphone maker Vivo and creative agency Dentsu Impact to court, according to reports in Indian media

Ogilvy alleges that a film for Vivo V17 starring Bollywood actor Aamir Khan was inspired by a script that it had presented to the brand.

A judge in the Bombay High Court deemed the scripts “similar” and ordered Vivo Mobile to either deposit Rs one crore or furnish a guarantee from a reputed bank within a week, if it wished to continue to air the ad.  

In its petition to the court, Ogilvy alleged that Vivo had approached its agency Brand David to pitch for a new assignment last October. The agency presented a storyboard around the theme ‘Amusement Park’.

In May, Vivo informed Ogilvy India that it would be choosing another agency. The smartphone maker was then informed that the IP in the proposal belonged to Ogilvy. In June, Vivo approached Ogilvy again and obtained a detailed script.

On seeing the film air this September, Ogilvy India decided to take Vivo and Dentsu Impact – the agency which created the ad – to court. Ogilvy India lawyers claimed the agency would have earned Rs1.5 crore (approximately S$287,000) from the assignment. The figure of Rs one crore has apparently been disputed by Vivo Mobile’s lawyers. The lawyer for Dentsu has reportedly argued that similarity of ideas could not amount to infringement.  

In response to a query from Mumbrella, a spokesperson for Dentsu Impact said: “We outrightly deny that the idea was copied by us. We have absolutely no reason to resort to any kind of plagiarism, as we have no dearth of talent in our agency and have enough great work and awards that prove our worth. 

“We are an agency of strong integrity, ethics and brilliant creative talent. What we created is completely our original work, and we have always maintained this before the Honourable Court, as this is the fact. We do not wish to comment on the matter further, as it is still pending before the Honourable High Court of Bombay for final adjudication.”

Mumbrella has approached Ogilvy India for a statement. Ogilvy had previously worked with Vivo in early 2018, creating a series of films that ran during the IPL cricket tournament, which also featured Khan.


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