A week ago Cadbury Chocolates Ireland announced the winner of their Cadbury Apprentice Contest to design a new Cadbury Milk Bar wrapper. All was well and the two top designers got well over 25,000 votes each. On Feb 15, 2010 they picked the winner, Sinead Costello. A lot of people voted for the design, but by the end of the day though, comments like this were appearing on the Facebook page:
It appeared that the entry was pretty blatantly copied from a piece called Waterfall Transforming Into White Hooded Monks.
Here are the two pieces below:
Needless to say there are some striking similarities in the waterfall section. Similar direction and an almost identical pattern.
The real give away is where the ‘milk’ breaks mid stream in some rocks, and the placement of the hoods and ‘monks’ is pretty much unforgivable. See close up below:
Plagiarizing works is nothing new, but in an almost admission of guilt, Sinead has apparently deactivated her Facebook page, probably due to the sheer amount of criticism she may have been receiving.
The real loser here is Cadbury though. Crowd sourcing is a great way to engage consumers for local markets and build a reputation, but crowd sourcing also involves the public and their apparently devilish ways.
Cadbury may have seen some advantage in the fact that any publicity is good publicity (hence this post) but it seems that the disheartened other designers who hopefully have not done such work, may have lost their enthusiasm for such a campaign.
Cadbury did respond with this though:
In Cadbury’s defence, they do have a rule that entrants “must ensure that: (a) The entry is the entrant’s original creation and has not been copied, adapted or amended.”
Is it plagiarism? And how does Cadbury come out of this?
UPDATE: The term that should be used is spec work, not crowd sourcing considering there was no intention of collaboration between designers. Credit to David Airey for catching my mistake.
UPDATE: Cadbury had this to say: