UPDATED – We just received an email from the guys at Duval Guillaume, saying that:

‘In this blogpost our newest campaign for Reborn To Be Alive (a non-profit organisation that focusses on organ-donation) is featured as one of the main examples of how advertising agencies “borrow” (funny/popular/creative/…) images to use in their campaigns, without asking permission (or even worse: remunerating) the rightful owners.  

Aside from the fact that we are very grateful that the campaign is getting the attention we were hoping for, we would like to state that we spent numerous days contacting the rightful owner (Markus Schatz, a very friendly German) to ask for his permission, after coming across his picture. After explaining him the purpose of the campaign & showing him the final creation, he was very happy to cooperate and was even flattered that the picture he took several years ago was still getting this much attention.’

Therefore, we would like to apologise for getting things wrong, especially in this case, featuring a great idea and a good cause. Mea culpa.


Did you remember this post about how Volkswagen killed creativity by nicking photos from the Internet and putting their logo on them? No, you don’t remember it. I knew it, and that’s why I re-post it.

But with a little twist. I will start the re-post by adding a recent ad that shows I was too pessimistic about this kind of operation. The following ad is part of Re-born to be Alive’s new campaign by Duval Guillaume, “If you are going to do stupid things, at least become an organ donor.” (more here: http://buff.ly/1rFTYyv)

And it’s genius. And shows the right way we can use the free and rough diamonds we find on the Internet: not to make money (or saving it by not paying creatives, like Volkswagen did), but for a good cause.

Enjoy this ad, then go read the old post, and everything – maybe – will finally make sense.


In a recent blog post Seth Godin says:

‘Steal, don’t invent

Steal your business model. We don’t have a shortage of business models, it’s okay if you pick one that’s already working for someone else.

Steal your web design. There will always be enough people brave enough to invent whole new ways of interacting online. But unless you’re an interaction designer or your business model depends on something new, do us all a favor and use something that already works.

Steal your tools. You probably don’t need to build a new email delivery engine, a new overnight shipping method or a new way to run payroll. Once someone has a reliable, cost-effective building block, feel free to use it.

When it comes down to the thing you will be known for, your uniqueness, your gift, your thing worth talking about–don’t steal that. Writers shouldn’t steal words from other writers, and chemists have no need to steal the research of other chemists. Sure, go ahead and invent.

For the rest, honor those that came before and use their work as a building block for yours.’

Amen. Looks like someone forgot to read the last two paragraphs, though.

Look at the new Volskwagen print ad campaign, by DDB Barcelona (see more on Ads of the World). Both here and on the cover picture, the images on the left are from the campaign, the ones on the right from the “meme purgatory”, AKA the Internet. Hence the title: The future of advertising, or how Volkswagen killed creativity.

One day – not far away – brands will realise three things:
1. The Internet is full of gems

2. Most of these gems either don’t have certified parents, or can be used anyway without permission as it’s sometimes impossible to go back to the original owner (“Welcome to the Internet, man! The minute you upload a picture, it belongs to the Universe.”)

3. They don’t have to pay (at least the small-time) creative minds anymore

That day, we will see memes everywhere, and we will drink to the End of Creativity.
Welcome to the Internet.

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.



Leave a Comment