Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Charmed" client romance begins finger-pointing stage of relationship

Winning a major award at the Cannes International Advertising Festival is a really big deal and usually the agency team, the production company and the client collectively act the proud parents.

This year a Bronze Lion-winning TV spot for JC Penney, called "Racy" by AdAge, is almost an orphan.

Saatchi & Saatchi says they didn't order it. JC Penney says they didn't approve it. And production house Epoch Films (and even administrators of the festival) ain't sayin' nothin'. Meanwhile the spot, which seems to condone teen sex, got about 16,000 views on YouTube in less than 24 hours.

I suspect the account will be up for review (JCP will be talking to other agencies) within 30 days. A lawsuit against Epoch Films for trademark infringement - and probably including a cease and desist order - should be expected even sooner.

File this one under "Smart People Acting Stupid."