Film & TV News

Leo Burnett Malaysia initiates legal proceedings against Tan Chui Mui after social media furore over plagiarism allegations

ADVERTISING agency Leo Burnett Malaysia issued a statement on Thursday evening announcing legal action against filmmaker Tan Chui Mui over contentious Petronas television spot Rubber Boy.

Leo Burnett Malaysia does not see it appropriate to ventilate a dispute over social media. Leo Burnett will therefore be initiating legal proceedings against Tan Chui Mui and other parties to have the matter heard at the appropriate forum. In the circumstances, Leo Burnett will not comment further on the issue on social media and will let the Courts decide on the matter.

On Monday, Chui Mui alleged that the short film directed by Ismail Kamarul plagiarised parts of a pitch presented by Da Huang Pictures to Leo Burnett in December 2014. Chui Mui then began posting images and screen grabs of conversations on Facebook to provide evidence of her claim.

The Leo Burnett team responded by dismissing Chui Mui’s claims. Creative Director James Yap claimed Rubber Boy was based on his own personal story while Leo Burnett issued a statement on Tuesday declaring Chui Mui’s allegations baseless.

13509013_591470421026839_603608385295291315_n (1)Leo Burnett eventually issued a cease and desist yesterday.

Chui Mui however responded today morning with a public letter requesting proof from Leo Burnett that the entirety of Rubber Boy was the firm’s original conception.

Hours later, Leo Burnett announced that it will be going to court.

Members of the local creative community have rallied behind Chui Mui, along the way sparking discussions on social media over intellectual property and agency ethics.

Writer Zedeck Siew for instance believes that the issue may be one of uncredited labour, while veteran musician Wan Zawawi Ibrahim sees it as a breach of Chui Mui’s copyright.

Leo Burnett’s rivals meanwhile also took advantage of the situation to make quick jabs at the agency. Major competitor BBDO Malaysia posted a call for hire on Tuesday poking fun at the case.


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Check out our previous coverage and follow the discussion by checking out #LeoBurnettPlagiarism on Facebook.

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