Director Accuses 72andSunny of ‘Stealing’ Ideas

By Erik Oster 


Director Danny Sangra found 72andSunny’s recent “Other Side” spot for Infiniti (above) starring Steph Curry to be oddly familiar.

Sangra says aspects of the spot bear an unmistakable resemblance to the 2015 “A Fistful of Wolves” ad he wrote and directed for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Both ads feature protagonists whose machismo posturing is interrupted by a trip to the store for milk, and Sangra believes the similarities go well beyond that element. To illustrate the similarities, he created an edit splicing together portions of “A Fistful of Wolves” and “Other Side” called “A Fistful of Curry” (below).

“It is very difficult for me to believe it was a coincidence. ‘Fistful of Wolves’ became very visible at the time; it was a finalist at the 2015 Clios for Fashion & Beauty, and won best script at MadridFFF. And 72andSunny know my work. They asked me to pitch before,” he told AgencySpy. “The production company they worked with on their spot, Anonymous Content, are also aware of me. I actually received an email from their sales when the spot was released in 2015, congratulating me on how great it was.”

“There’s so many factors. It’s not just one idea that is similar, there’s different layers that are similar,” he added. “Arriving at the same shots, the same tone and then also the same music—all as coincidence? That’s a punch line.”

72andSunny declined to comment for this story.

Sangra said a friend in the industry first brought the 72andSunny spot to his attention. When he reached out to other friends for their takes, he said the response was “overwhelming.”

“Personally, I thought, well they must have had a budget 500 times what I had. They had a team of creatives, a great production company and one of the biggest directors,” Sangra said. “And all they could do was make a diet version of my film? I was bummed out and angry that this is still happening.”

“I’ve spoken with [director Mark Romanek]. After seeing my film, he asked me to call him. He explained he had no idea about my film, he just followed the agency board directing this,” he added. “If that’s true, then 72andSunny brought a project to a director that could affect their reputation negatively.”

Additionally, Sangra said 72andSunny’s approach undercuts any pledged commitments to diversity the agency has made.

“72andSunny talk a lot on their social media about diversity,” he said. “As someone who has grown up having to deal with cultural biases (I am half Sikh and half Jewish), I do not see how plagiarizing the film of a lesser known director and giving it to a highly established director could be regarded as pushing any type of diversity. New blood are not being championed.”

In April, we wrote about Complex Apparel LLC CEO David Castro‘s claim that 72andSunny had “stolen” from his “Crowns for the Culture” video promoting his Dungeon Forward headwear apparel brand for its “Claim the Crown” effort for New Era.

“Tapping into a cultural insight that baseball caps are like crowns in modern street culture, an idea discussed in several third-party articles including the 2015 article “The Common Man’s Crown” by Troy Patterson in The New York Times, while also playing off pop-culture icons being referred to as royalty, 72andSunny, on behalf of New Era,​ ​independently created the “We Who Reign” campaign, 72andSunny said in a statement at the time.

Infiniti named 72andSunny its global creative agency of record last August, but officially resigned the account this May, shortly before the “Other Side” spot was released.

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