Thursday, March 22, 2007

More on the Hillary/Obama ads

(image created by Spazeboy)

Apparently, on this afternoon's "Situation Room", CNN has mentioned the controversial Obama online ad, and the fact that it may have been unoriginal. Tim Tagaris saw the report, and they said the ad was a ripoff of the one I created last summer. (...and if anyone Tivo'd it, I'd really like to get a copy of it)

...if I had only known it was going to be this big of a deal, I would have spent a lot more time making the original video look and sound better!

Plus, Tparty points out some other sources that are looking into the issue of where credit for the idea is due. This is from the Cleveland Plain Dealer's blog:

De Vellis intrigue grows (or, where have we seen this ad before?)
Posted by Stephen Koff March 22, 2007 12:57PM

Could the intrigue over Phil de Vellis' controversial anti-Hillary video become more a question of some copy-cat work? Former Plain Dealer Cincinnati bureau chief Bill Sloat presents the goods in his Daily Bellwether blog.

It seems that the anti-Clinton video created by de Vellis, a political operative who once worked in Sherrod Brown's Senate campaign, is pretty much a carbon copy of a video that Ned Lamont supporters (specifically, ME) put out last year in their unsuccessful attempt to take down Sen. Joe Lieberman. Check out that video here.

Now compare it with de Vellis' work here.

Most of the content is lifted from an Apple Computers ad. But de Vellis was not the first guy to use it for political purposes (though perhaps he was the first to lose his job over it). "Such amazing creativity," notes Sloat's site. "Or is it plagiarism?"
I tend to lean towards plagiarism myself, but I'll wait and see what develops before I make any definitive judgement.

And here's the passage from The Daily Bellwether:
1984 Redux: Same 'Big Brother' Ad Was Used Against Lieberman

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Apparently, Big Brother wasn't watching. The YouTube ad that is being hailed/denounced as creating a Brave New World of Internet viral political campaigning was a complete rip-off. Check out Connecticut for Joe. It was hardly noticed and got less than 1,000 hits.

Newly-elected Democratic Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown's former blog guru Phil de Vellis claims he concocted the Hillary Clinton as Big Sister version that has had the 'sphere atwitter. If so, he polished an apple that somebody previously had bitten. Such amazing creativity. Or is it plagiarism?

Watch the Connecticut version. Turns out that Ned Lamont's supporters floated nearly the same ad last year in his showdown with Lieberman.

[UPDATE: Blue State Digital where de Vellis worked until his reputed responsibility for the anti-Hillary ad became known, did Lamont's Web work last year. And a Blue State wheel has moved on to Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Inquiring minds might be wondering: Pure coincidence? Blue State, however, insists it has absolutely no connection to the 1984 video and de Vellis was terminated; de Vellis says he quit.]
[UPDATE 2: Bob Adams made the Lamont ad last July. When he saw the Hillary version earlier this month he mused about copycats. Another veteran of Ohio Democratic politics, Tim Tagaris, worked for the Lamont campaign in 2006 and pointed out the existence of Adams' work. And there's more from Bob. It looks like Ohio really is the heart of it all.]

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