In the offline ad world, creatives are always quick to cry "rip-off." Pretty much everything strikes me as derivative of the Bible and Beowulf, but protecting the originality of "the idea" is hard-wired into ad culture. Does that translate into online? Agency.com has built a new site for Skittles that is pretty much a carbon copy of Modernista!'s much-lauded "un-site," which of course some claim is a rip-off of an earlier Zeus Jones site. The Skittles site is an interesting case study for a consumer goods company. Let's face it: Why would anyone go to a packaged-goods Web site? But nowadays, in social media, people are talking about all sorts of stuff. Agency.com gets that with a "chatter" link that pulls up the results of a "skittles" search on Twitter. It could be on to something. Does it really matter if Modernista or Zeus Jones got there first?
—Posted by Brian Morrissey