4As Pulls Dentsu Utama’s Award Amidst Plagiarism Allegations

By Erik Oster Comment

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The 4As Kancil Awards disqualified an award-winning “Anti-Poaching” ad from Malaysia-based agency Dentsu Utama for the World Wildlife Fund amidst allegations of plagiarism by U.K. based designer Tom Anders, The Drum reports.

Anders tweeted about the award-winning ad last week, writing “I think you may have blatantly copied my design in your award winning poster” to the agency and providing a side-by-side comparison (see above). As a result, the 4As disqualified the work (no word on if the award was given to someone else). Today, Dentsu Utama followed up by quitting the 4As and releasing the following statement via Facebook:

It has come to our attention that one of our ‘Anti-Poaching’ WWF (World Wildlife Fund) ad campaign which went on to win awards at the Kancil Awards 2015 has been highlighted for plagiarising the art-work of UK-based designer named Tom Anders. As an agency which is part of a larger global network, Dentsu Utama maintains very strict policies around the use of third party content in our creative materials and treat allegations of intellectual property infringement extremely seriously. We have since contacted Tom Anders to address this issue at hand.”

The Drum attributed the statement to Dentsu Utama CEO Omar Shaari and noted that they reached out to the agency for comment but had yet to receive a reply. 

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