BBC Women's World Cup spot accused of imitating past campaign

BBC: film shown during build-up to England vs Scotland match
BBC: film shown during build-up to England vs Scotland match

Spot, shown in build-up to England vs Scotland game, was created by Input Media.

A spot created for BBC Sport's coverage of the Women World's Cup, part of a preview for the England vs Scotland game, has been accused of imitating a previous football-themed campaign.

Creative studio The Flash Pack has alleged that part of the film, shown in the build-up to the match, bears similarities to a campaign on Instagram Stories it created two-and-a-half years ago featuring Paris Saint-Germain. 

The PSG work was created in October 2016 to showcase Instagram Stories' functionality. It featured players in a neon football stadium tunnel with LED strips in blue, white and red to represent the colours of the French flag.

The BBC spot, created by Input Media, also features players in an LED tunnel with red, white and blue colours. The BBC appointed Input Media to produce coverage of the Women's World Cup in December.

Tyson Benton, founder of The Flash Pack, said: "Speaking as a creative, I just can't see how they came up with this without seeing our Paris Saint-Germain shoot first. There are too many similarities: the subject is the same, the set build is the same, the lighting design is the same, the colour combinations of the LED strips are identical, the lighting animations are the same."

The BBC said it had spoken to an independent producer at Input Media and while both acknowledge that the campaigns look similar, they said they are not the same and that the technique demonstrated is one that is "well-used" in the industry, while "a different lighting rig" was also used.

Input Media did not return calls from Campaign.

BBC Sport was recently accused of plagiarism for its "#ChangeTheGame" campaign, which launched last month with a major TV ad and out-of-home activity.

The broadcaster came under fire from author Yomi Adegoke, who said that the BBC was "ripping off the trademarked name of [her] book", Slay in Your Lane, by using the phrase on one of the posters.

Benton commented that in light of the dispute with Adegoke, the BBC's response to his claims was "disappointing" but "unsurprising".

"Taking inspiration from others is par for the course, every good idea stands on the shoulders of the ideas that preceded it, that is the beauty of creativity," he added. "For me, cookie cutter creative isn’t creative at all. If context, subject matter, format, media and aesthetic details are all the same when comparing two pieces of creative work, then the line has been overstepped."

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