Advertising creatives have an odd rule when it comes to plagiarism. I think it says a lot about the ingrained arrogance of the industry that you can copy any film, art or photographic style, comedian's routine, in fact anyone or anything, as long as you don't copy an ad.
I have heard it said countless of times, 'Great ad, pity it's been done', usually followed by the agency name and year of creation, as the all-knowing CD goes over to his D&AD annuals and finds it for you. Proof, as if proof were needed of his greatness when it comes to the history of ads.
The t-shirt industry obviously don't share this obsession.
Mr Cloud's T-shirt Emporium rip-off
Seeing this made me angry. I now don't like Mr Cloud. Why? Because they're lazy and stupid and spend all their time surfing other t-shirt sites looking for the easy way to a good idea.
But the thing is I actually don't know who was first, I based my assumption on the fact Howies is an old friend (known for it's integrity), while Mr Cloud is a new acquaintance, regardless of whether I'm right or wrong. In fact I'd probably take this position even if I found this t-shirt design on some kid's MySpace page.
Okay, what I know of Howies and what I can gleam from Mr Cloud's website would suggest I'm probably right, but I don't know for sure, maybe Howies just improved on the design.
In a world where we are all now meant to be creating content and posting and uploading and plagiarising and inspiring one another, this is going to create a whole new level of problems for brands and their agencies.