Saturday, October 08, 2005

Anyone for a recycled slogan?

Leeds City Council has just discovered that the slogan 'Live it love it', which it commissioned from the imaginatively named PR agency An Agency Called England, is a direct lift from one used by the Hong Kong tourist board!

A snip at £150,000 for "research and launch costs" (which presumably didn't include a quick Google check, just to be on the safe side) the agency responsible for the slogan, Marketing Leeds, a joint venture between the council and the city's chamber of commerce, smartly sidesteps allegations of plagiarism by saying it hadn't cost anything to "develop" the new brand., whatever that means. An Agency Called England's head honcho, Tony Stanton, was, perhaps unsurprisingly, even more inventive with his response:
"The Hong Kong campaign targeted North American tourists on city breaks. We took the view we could use it as a brand as opposed to an ad campaign".
So there you have it - lifting the title of an ad campaign to use as a "brand" isn't plagiarism - more creative recycling - with the bill footed by the hapless council taxpayers.

Meanwhile, away from the self-serving frenzy and hype of the PR world, the BBC's website is currently featuring the 50th anniversary of the World Press Photo Foundation's annual photographic competition. The images are graphic and shocking, including a Turkish mother mourning her five dead children, victims of an earthquake; Chilean President, Salvador Allende, photographed moments before his death in the 1973 right wing coup; and the death mask image of a child victim of the Union Carbide gas leak. These are images that challenge our perceptions of the world - a far cry from the sanitised "news" increasingly served up for us by the major broadcasting channels.