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Teacup storm may need bigger vessel

SBS called – and they’re not happy. Late yesterday the Aussie broadcaster was still mulling over its options as whether to take legal action over TV3’s use of the line “Six billion stories and counting” – SBS’s own tagline – in its new TVC.

Earlier this week, TV3’s director of marketing and communications Roger Beaumont told Stoppress he didn’t think SBS would be too bothered by the channel’s use of the line as it was merely a “passing reference” in the TV3 ad and “not its main positioning statement”. However, it turns out the Aussies are not quite so relaxed.

SBS director of marketing Jacqui Riddell says the line, launched in May 2008, was already very well-known throughout the media industry in Australia and globally.

“Given that TV3 and SBS exist in a similar category, we would be concerned at the perception of a business connection, association or sponsorship…SBS has invested heavily in developing the tagline, logo and overall brand which is protected via copyright law in Australia.”

Riddell had raised the issue with both the broadcaster’s lawyers and the agency that developed the creative, but was also considering getting in touch with TV3 to express her concerns.

Eighteen months in development, the branding had also won multiple creative awards including Promax World Gold and Promax Australia & New Zealand. Click here to view their award winning spots.

She added: “I think it is poor form to so blatantly steal our idea, and also to make such a ham fist of it in execution.” Ouch.

Beaumont said today he did not know the specifics of how the TV3 ad was created but added:

“It’s a generic phrase based on the population of the world. I don’t think it’s particularly unique.”

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