Doesn’t originality count for anything?

Puzzled as I was by Barbara Lippert’s inexplicably glowing review of the unexceptional new Burger King work [“Whoppers Well Done,” March 1], one sentence in particular had me scratching my scalp: In citing the ads’ all-too-familiar “cubicle-based humor,” she added in an aside: “The BBC sitcom The Office also has a similar look.”

Similar? It’s exactly the same, right down to the awkward pauses and deadpan delivery of the glassy-eyed Dilberts. This is not an homage, ladies and gentlemen, it’s theft. I only hope Ricky Gervais is earning royalties.

Doesn’t originality count for anything these days?

Another thing: “Have it your way” might have been a unique selling proposition in the early 1970s. But today you can pretty much “Have it your way” at McDonald’s or Wendy’s or Subway.

Come back, Herb the Nerd, all is forgiven.

Nick di Paolo
Freelance art director
Greensboro, N.C.

Near the end of her Critique about Sprite’s ads with “Thirst” the talking doll [“Sprite’s Small Wonder,” Feb. 23], Barbara Lippert writes, “The biggest rap on it could be that it’s derivative of Nike’s Li’l Penny character, but … Miles Thirst connects better.” I would have begun the article like this: “Miles Thirst is completely derivative of Li’l Penny, but Li’l Penny connected better.”

Paying homage is one thing. Outright stealing is considered a crime in most other areas of life.

Jack McGoldrick
Freelance copywriter
New York

For the record: DDB London co-CEO Chris Cowpe is expected to remain at DDB, not Lowe, with a different title [March 1].

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