Category Archives: COPY CAT ADS

How Lowe can they go?

This is a new low even for Mullen Lowe

First published 6th of July, 2016

Less original: by Mullen Lowe – Kuwait

First published December, 2018

The full video

Here we go again…

Copycat, cut & paste and plagiarism are synonymous with theft, fraud and lack of creativity all of which are turning our industry into a commodity.

Stealing someone else idea and attributing it to yourself is bad enough but to win a pitch for a major luxury automotive brand in Kuwait and make huge financial benefits with a stolen idea is a crime that should be punishable by law in my view for the following reasons:

1- It does not show respect towards the Art Director who is credited with the original idea who happens to be a fellow industry practitioner – one of our own big family.

2- It does not show respect towards the client who is most likely paying an arm and a leg for the agency “creative work” while unwittingly being set up by the agency for a probable lawsuit due to their own plagiarism and betrayal of the client trust.

3- It does not show respect to any one of the numerous agencies that spent sleepless nights brainstorming, researching, sketching, crafting, etc. etc. only to lose this pitch to Mexican Art Director Oscar S. who is clueless of the fact that his work which was plagiarized by Mullen Lowe actually won the pitch for the Mercedes Kuwait account.

4- It does not show respect towards the Mullenlowe international brand and creative work by their own management and team in the Kuwait office.

What is your opinion? which point best resonated with you? please let us know in the comments section. we would love to hear your mind.

Dubai Lynx 2013 – Episode 1 starring Shahir of Team Y&R

Once again an inspiring fact in the words of passionate creatives, I couldn’t have stated it better myself “Scam ads -Are unethical. It’s fraud. You’re cheating against me, us, your peers. You are basically padding your resume, not very different to using steroids in baseball, falsifying sources in journalism, or faking a test. It’s wrong, plain and simple. -Damages brands. In the digital age, unapproved communications can fly around the internet causing a PR nightmare. This also sets up a ripe opportunity for libel suits. -Lots of awards mean better jobs. Unfortunately, this is true. There are too many egotisical rockstars who’ve gotten those jobs based on faking it, at the expense of the many talented people who haven’t needed to fake it and who do the real work. Yes, there is a role for outlandish ballsy risktakers. But there should not be a role for unprofessional cheaters. -Creates a false sense of talent and ability for agencies. Creativity is one thing. Being able to make it for a real brand is another. An agency that wins tons of awards but who’s real work is less than stellar really is only fooling themselves. Sadly though, they also end up attracting talent who will be disappointed with the real output. Same with the clients who thing that are getting a great agency. If they’re willing to fake their entires, what about timesheets, billings, etc? What’s the line when it comes to professional ethics? -Ruins the process and creative department’s overall credibility. Award shows should celebrate the best work that gets produced. That’s our job. That’s the hard part. If you can’t make a good scam ad with no brief, then frankly, you must suck. If you’ve ever worked with CD who’s built a career on scam, you’ll see how hard it is for them to create great work with real briefs. Talented as they are, they often fail to do what their job is – sell. Creativity and selling go hand in hand in this thing we call advertising, and that should be rewarded. Scam doesn’t ‘raise the bar’ of creativity. It lowers it. And lowers the credibility of the people, agencies and shows who promote it”.

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Winner of Silver in the Print category PELICANS

Winner of Bronze in the Outdoor category PELICANS

Agency: Team Y&R Dubai

Client: Harvey Nicholos

Year: 2013

Type of Entry: Print
Type of Entry: Outdoor: Billboards & Street Furniture
Name Position
Shahir Zag Chief Creative Officer
Shahir Zag/Kalpesh Patankar Creative Director
Shahir Zag Copywriter
Kalpesh Patankar Art Director
Remix Studio – Bangkok Photographer
Zaakesh Mulla Account Supervisor
David Lewis Advertiser’s Supervisor
Nazek Fawaz Account Manager
Agency Producer: Amin Soltani Other Credits

There are some other examples of this BIG idea and art-direction which involves a toaster suronded by (obviously) toast bread and yet another one with a deodorant can surrounded by “screws” and yet another one featuring a pencil sharpener and pencils, one more features an electric socket and a plethora of plugs 🙂

check out the links


WWF 9/11

Shocking creativity

Moo Zain = not good

Also interesting is to check out the following links which prove the adage  that “lightening does NOT strike twice at the same place” and that “A good idea will sneak up behind you, pull your pants down, and run away giggling” 🙂

Harvey Davidson – The agency that copied these ads also copied many more and won Dubai Lynx 2012 agency of the year

Dirty copycat by Dubai Team Young & Rubicam gets washed out by Joe Lepompe

top that


Balanced bottles


Hand cuffs

Hammer Time

Food for thought

Hot ad, cool ride

have a chocolate break, have a land rover

Yet another #$$ hole

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October 2004 ;)



Less original: Zain

Agency: JWT

Creative Director: Mazen Faied

Kuwait – Jan 2008


Hmmm, so much like the MTC…I mean Zain; cupcake/spoon ad.

copy an idea, replace the coffee with a cupcake and volaaa you have a Zain ad but that does not mean it is a good ad ;)


Client: Cafe’ Supreme

Agency: C3

Country: Kuwait – 2009






Country: UAE

Awards: Cannes Lions 2004 Press No-Prize

Account Supervisor: Rupen Desai

Advertiser Supervisor: Anil Gopalan

Photographer: Tejal Patni

Entrant Company: LOWE & PARTNERS DUBAI

Creative Team: Nirmal Diwadkar,Manoj Ammanath,Adham Obeid



Agency: Jung von Matt/Donau




Now the bottom line is…


copycat is a person that mimics or repeats the behavior of another. The term is often derogatory, suggesting a lack of originality. The expression may derive from kittens that learned by imitating the behaviors of their mothers. – Wikipedia.

Plagiarism: The abuse of another’s original work by copying it and passing it off as one’s own. As defined in Alastair Campbell book titled The Designer’s Lexicon. Page: 293 ISBN: 0-304-35505-4.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of thievery” excerpt from a book by Capsule titled Design Matters. Page: 84. ISBN -13:978-1-59253-341-1.

I Confess. I Cheated.


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You’re in school taking the most important and hardest class you’ll ever take.  There’s a lot of pressure because if you make an A you’ll be guaranteed a job.  A B might get you the job depending on how everyone else in the class does.  But you’re pretty confident because you’ve worked harder than your classmates.

First test you make a B.  A few of your classmates make Cs and Ds but the majority make As, and you wonder how they did that.  Soon, you hear that one of your classmates has a copy of all the semester’s tests, obtained perhaps by cleverly hacking into the professor’s computer.  The ones who are cheating ask if you’d like to come over and “study” with them for the next test.  You decline because you don’t want to be a cheater.

You study more than you did for the last test because you know you have to just to keep up.  You end up with a B plus.  They make As again.  They’re contacted by job recruiters.  You are not.  Even some of the ones who made Cs and Ds on the first test are now making As, moving you closer to the bottom of the pack.  You’d like to tell on them, but you have no proof.  Besides, that would really tick off the whole group, and they pretty much detest you anyway for your goody-two-shoes routine.

You do what you have to.  You join them.  You make your A.  You get the job.  You’re financially independent and so happy about that.  You get married and have kids, whose piano and tennis lessons you can pay for thanks to that good job.  Your family is happy.  No regrets.  You and your college buddies laugh about that class years later.

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It took Lowe MENA four years to copy Paragon Marketing Communications awarded work

Client: Mix FM

Agency: Paragon Marketing Communications

Creative Director: Louai Alasfahani

Country: Kuwait

Year: 2008

Advertising Agency: Lowe MENA, Dubai
Creative Director: Marwan Saab
Art Directors: Pramod Surwase, Prashant Yeware
Copywriter: Marwan Saab
Account Handlers: Maram Salah
Executive Business Director: Irfan Fatmi

Country: UAE – Dubai

Year: 2012

Global voice roaming

Invisible creativity visible copycats and cliche

Client: Salvation Army

Country: Canada

The above (By Leo Burnett Lebanon) just won Bronze at the 2012 Cannes Lions 59th International Festival of Creativity!!!

In public parks, where kids play freely with or without their parents, we placed a man camouflaged in the surrounding settings of the park. The actor, who was told to sit on a bench without moving, was labelled by flyers all around the park and beside him, explaining that ‘Predators are Everywhere’, even in the safest of places. Kids and moms approach the stunt with curiosity and playfulness. Once they discovered the flyer, and the content was absorbed, mother and child then entered into discussions, so that the parent may explain things in a manner that could be easily understood by the children.
Advertiser HIMAYA
Type of Entry: Best Campaign
Category: Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR
Advertiser/Client: HIMAYA


Name Company Position
Bechara Mouznnar Leo Burnett Beirut Chief Creative Director
Malek Ghorayeb Leo Burnett Beirut Executive Creative Direcor
Areej Mahmoud Leo Burnett Beirut Creative Director
Charbel Sawane Leo Burnett Beirut Senior Art Director
Krystel Hoche Leo Burnett Beirut Senior Art Director
Marya Ghazzaoui Leo Burnett Beirut Art Director
Salem Habbous Leo Burnett Beirut Copywriter
Tania Saleh Leo Burnett Beirut Copywriter
Nada Abi Saleh Leo Burnett Beirut Deputy Managing Director
Michel Haddad Leo Burnett Beirut Communication Executive
Line Abou Nasr Starcom Media Vest Group Media Manager
Samer Choueiry Leo Burnett Beirut Head Of Digital Department
Mariah Ghazzaoui Leo Burnett Beirut Art Director

Client: Khimji’s Watches – Oris


Country: Oman

Published in Business Today on June 2012


Invisible originality / Pas Vu, Pas Pris?

Невидимый плагиат

Source: Saatchi & Saatchi лажают

It was used as art by Liu Bolin’s famous camouflage artwork, as ads for charity, as ambient media and in the latest Sherlock Holmes movie now in a theatre near you.

Released: March 2008
Advertiser: United Nations
Brand name: Unicef (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund)
Product: Unicef (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund)
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Shanghai
Country: China

Credits & Description:

Title: Staircase
Client: Unicef
Agency: Shanghai Ogilvy & Mather Advertising / shanghai
Art Director: Kevin Lee, Haibo Huang, Phoebe Liao, Stephen Zhong
Creative Director: Kevin Lee, Fan Ng
Illustrator: Haohui Zhou, Bin liu, Spring Zhu, Chaowen Wu, Jinghua Pan
Writer: Adams Fan, Derek Huang, Raymond Yung, Andrew Lok

The Outdoor Advert titled Staircase was done by Ogilvy & Mather, Shanghai advertising agency for product: Unicef (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) (brand: Unicef (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund)) in China. It was released in the Mar 2008.


Advertiser: Nokia Corporation
Brand name: Nokia
Product: Nokia Phonethics
Agency: JWT Manila
Country: Philippines
Category: Mobile TelephonePublic Safety, Health & Hygiene
Released: April 2009
Credits & Description:

Executive Creative Director: Dave Ferrer
Creative Director: Dave Ferrer/Tay Guan Hin
Copywriter: Rachel Villanueva
Art Director: Katrina Encanto
Account Manager: Henrique Uy
Account Supervisor: Golda Roldan/Iea Nepomuceno
Photographer: Wesley Villarica

The Print Ad titled BODY PAINT SCHOOLBOY was done by JWT Manila advertising agency for product: Nokia Phonethics (brand: Nokia) in Philippines. It was released in the Apr 2009.


More examples from the art arena…Born in France, but based in California Jean-Paul Bourdier places the human form into the natural elements and using a combination of light, paint and artistic vision merges and seamlessly blends them together.

Follow this link for more visual examples in art


In Oman, Thinking the same is not good for business

Both ads have been published in the same country in the same newspaper in the same day!!! It would be interesting if they use the same agency 🙂

One of the many functions of advertising is to achieve differentiation, something that both advertisers were unsuccessful in achiving in these examples.

“When everyone is thinking the same, no one is thinking”

Client: Bank Sohar

Country: Oman

Year: 30th of April 2012

Client: e.Oman

Country: Oman

Year: 30th of April 2012

cliché (from French, klɪ’ʃe) is a phrase, expression, or idea that has been overused to the point of losing its intended force or novelty, especially when at some time it was considered distinctively forceful or novel. – Wikipedia.

Lateral Thinking: When a low probability line of thought leads to an effective idea, there is a “Eureka” moment and at once the low-probability approach acquires the highest probability. – Edward De Bono. Excerpt from a book by John Townsend & Jacques Favier titled The Creative Manager’s Pocketbook. Page: 2. ISBN: 1-870471-69-5.


JWT india copies JWT Kuwait awarded entery

Designer: Anes Al Rayes

Agency: JWT

Country: Kuwait

Year: April – 2011

The above artwork won the first young creative challenge where the winners won a full expensis trip to the 2011 Cannes Lions . her is the link IAA Kuwait 1st Creative Challenge winners announced

Advertising Agency: JWT, Chennai, India
National Creative Director: Senthil Kumar
Senior Creative Director: Priya S
Copywriter: Prakash
Art Director: Gous Basha
Photographer: Arun Natarajan
Retoucher: Sivakumar
Published: March 2012

Impact BBDO Lebanon scrolls the MENA Grand Crystal with a copy cat from JWT Chile!!!

“Only the background moves, but the idea always remain the same! And a Grand Cristal (at Mena Awards) to this unconventional but not-so-original idea.” – Joe Lampompe.

Ford Outfitters / Scrolling Billboard – 2007
Source : Adsoftheworld, Media Lions,
Agency : JWT Santiago (Chile)

Audi Q7 / Scrolling Billboard with car sticker on glass – 2010
Source : AdsoftheworldMENA Awards Grand Cristal!
Agency : Impact BBDO Beirut (Lebanon)

Source: Same (creative) Mecanism / (dé)roule ma poule!


JWT Dubai Hits the break on creativity and accelerates copy cat ads

“Ok this example is not brand new, but it’s quite stunning. Is it a “clear” case of parallel thinking or a speed copycat? Who knows… one thing is sure : the 2 ideas and executions are very very similar.” – Joe Lepompe.

New Honda Storm – 2007
Tagline : “With high poerformance brake system”
Source : Cannes Archive Online,
Agency : Euro RSCG Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Mercedes C-Class – 2008
Headline : “With brake assist system BAS Plus” 
Source : Dubaï LYNX BRONZE
Agency : JWT Dubaï (UAE)

Source of both examples: A sharp lookalike / Une nette ressemblance!