A New Zealand TV station that ripped off a North American Sony advertisement has pulled the commercial after being highlighted by the Internet Spotlight of Shame.
Imitation has been called the sincerest form of flattery, but it seems that some people just aren't taught the difference between "imitation" and "plagiarism" these days. A TV network in New Zealand seems to have trouble with this concept and has pulled an ad for its services after it was revealed that it was a shameless rip-off of a Sony ad aired here in the United States.
TV3 in New Zealand blatantly copied Sony's "Montage" commercial, recreating it with practically identical dialogue and even stealing the 80s rock-out ending. It's pretty shameless and more than a little stunning that someone managed to get this filmed, edited, and aired without someone from TV3's legal team smacking them upside the head.
After various sites highlighted the similarities between the commercials, the network has since confirmed that it's pulled the advertisement. Shortly before the ad was pulled, though, "Kevin Butler" issued a response to the commercial via Twitter: "Dear TV3: You could have at least put my photo on top of the amp."
Overall, Sony actually seems to be taking the whole situation in pretty good humor. On the PlayStation Blog, Kevin Butler wrote a fairly forgiving post about the offending ad: "It's clear to me that TV3 appreciates great advertising and I'd like to thank them for their efforts. In fact we'd like to help them out and make our ENTIRE LIBRARY OF COMMERCIALS available for them to copy in order to promote their programming. I only ask that TV3 doesn't use our actual footage, but all future homages of this sort are now Kevin Butler sanctioned."
While the Kevin Butler ads don't air in New Zealand, it's not like these videos have been difficult to find on the internet. They're generally pretty funny and get a lot of attention. A google search for "Two words. Mon. Tage." reveals the PS3 ads right at the top of the page. You can almost be certain that someone in the marketing department at TV3 is getting fired for this.