Band accuses French Connection of ripping off video for 'lesbian kiss' ad

LONDON – French Connection and its advertising agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay have been accused of 'ripping off' a music video by Groovecutters for its latest TV and cinema spot, which features a violent fight between two women, and a lesbian kiss.

According to Groovecutters, the spot is a shot-for-shot copy of the video for its top 40 hit 'We Close Our Eyes', which was released in January last year.

The French Connection spot uses the same models, the same choreography and even the same director, David Bowie's son Duncan Jones, as the original Groovecutters video. It also appears to be shot in the same location.

Kev Keane, one of Groovecutters, said: "It's such a rip-off. I am not even sure if FCUK know how much of a copy it is. Would they have approved it if they knew it was not specially created for them to spearhead their £2m campaign.

"It just makes me laugh that something that was created for our track has been changed into something that symbolises French Connection's latest corporate message.

This is the latest piece of controversy to dog the ad, after the Advertising Standards Association confirmed it had received 70 complaints about its violent and sexual content.

The ad features two women, one symbolising fashion, the other style, who engage in a violent fight in the style of martial arts films such as 'Kill Bill' and 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'. Both the video and the ad end in a lesbian kiss and a violent headbutt.

French Connection said it had not been contacted by the band and said it was unaware of any infringements.

A spokeswoman for French Connection said: "We have not had any direct communications from either Groovecutters or Virgin Records in relation to our advert. As far as we are aware, we have not infringed anyone's rights in filming our commercial."

This is not the first time the advertising industry has been accused of reusing ideas from other media. Other examples include Honda's much-lauded "cog" TV ad by Wieden & Kennedy, which drew accusations of plagiarism from two Swiss artists, who claimed it was similar to a short film they made in 1987.

Neither BMB nor French Connection were available for comment at the time of writing. 

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