Xbox 'champagne' ad is a copy claims French film-maker

PARIS - A French film-maker is suing Microsoft over claims that an ad by London agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which launched Xbox in the UK, was a copy of her short film.

The BBH "champagne" ad for Xbox showed a baby being born and growing up into an old man before crashing into a grave, all in the space of less than a minute. French film-maker Audrey Schebat has said that the concept is the same as that of her short film 'Life'.

Now "champagne" has been tipped for a top award at the Cannes International Advertising Festival.

Its creators, the French duo Fed and Farid, are reported to have denied that Schebat's claims have any basis in truth. In her suit, she reportedly claims that there are 40 moments where the "champagne" ad resembles her film.

A BBH spokesman said: "We are aware of a claim being made by Ms Schebat in France, which is being

vigorously defended."

The BBH ad has already caused controversy in the UK, after the Independent Television Commission banned it for being offensive. The ITC said it did not agree with the advertiser's claim that it conveyed a "positive statement about life", and it was deemed particularly offensive to recently bereaved viewers.

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