Steve Daniels and Dave Harrison were hardly setting a trend when they sent an mpeg video to a few of their close buddies to celebrate the fact they were leaving the Manchester-based agency earlier this summer. After all, the cunning valedictory almost comes as standard on any self-respecting creative's CV - the former Leagas Delaney creatives Michelle Taylor and Julie Officer were catapulted into their current jobs at Soul after their take on an award-winning Harrods ad they created was sent around on an e-mail (see above).
It all seemed harmless enough - the grainy film shows a delivery man entering the agency's offices to hand over an awards cabinet, only to be told by the receptionist that it "must be a mistake. This is Cheetham Bell JWT."
The plucky pair were blissfully unaware that their creative masterpiece had been received with anything other than unbridled mirth until it became apparent that Cheetham Bell had sought legal advice.
Wheeling in a top law firm, the agency hasn't just demanded an apology but a whole list of other, confidential, requests. It all hangs from the theory that Cheetham Bell has been bad-mouthed and the resulting opinions might put off potential clients in a world where awards are hard currency.
Not to be outdone, Steve and Dave have hired their own lawyers to fight the cause. Bill Lister, the head of defamation at Pannone & Partners, said: "It seems like there has been a sense of humour failure here. The mpeg was just a little bit of fun and we're hoping this can be resolved amicably. Yes, Bill, but have you come across egos the size of those in adland? We didn't think so. Let battle commence.