Quilmes beer TV ad accused of plagiarism

Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 04-01-2012

Argentine brewing company Quilmes, a brand historically associated with some of the best TV ads in a country already renowned for its high-quality adverting industry, has been accused of stealing the idea for its latest campaign from a 2007 British commercial.
The spot under the microscope was uploaded by Quilmes to its own YouTube channel on December 30. Five days later, it has already been seen over 2.6 million times.
Titled #igualismo (#equalism = the result of the battle between machismo and feminism according to Quilmes's marketing department), the 2:10 minute, high-budget production shows a huge battlefield with two opposing sets of warriors seconds away from engaging in what promises to be an epic battle. Each battalion – which, strangely, is made up of either men or women – is being harangued by their respective generals. Tension builds up until battle appears to commence... only for love to prevail in the end.

While the advert script is as original and quintessentially Argentine as one would expect from Quilmes (one of the national football team's key sponsors), the main idea for the commercial, many of its takes and its ending have been pointed out as being anything but original.

In Twitter and YouTube forums (including that of the official Quilmes online video channel), word has spread like wildfire that simply typing "funny commercial: blattle of the sexes" on YouTube's search engine leads to a strikingly similar TV ad.
Indeed, the referred commercial (an advertisement for British newspaper The Mail on Sunday) has clearly been built on essentially the same idea that underpins the Argentine brewer's ad. The difference, of course, is that while one piece was uploaded on the Internet less than a week ago, the other one has been there for over four and a half years.

Neither Quilmes nor Young & Rubicam (the advertising agency that has produced all of the company's TV campaigns during the past few years) have yet made any statements about the allegations.