Artist Says iPhone Ad Was a Rip-Off

A sequence from Christian Marclay’s 1995 film Telephones comprises a montage of actors in famous films answering the phone. Apple’s “Hello” ad, which debuted during the Oscars, has a near-identical feel, though it features different footage. (The similarity was first noted here.)

Marclay, who has not commented on the matter until now, confirms it was no coincidence. “They approached us [about using Telephones] and I said no, and then they just went ahead,” he says. “The way they dealt with the whole thing is pretty sleazy.”

I don’t consider this a rip-off. Apple asked to use (and presumably pay for) the original, then made their own after he refused, using different clips. Using the same basic idea is not the same thing as copying an original piece of work.

But it does bring to mind the brouhaha over Apple’s “The Intel Chip” ad and The Postal Services’s “Such Great Heights” video.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007