NEWS: QC questions pitch details in last week of Hook court battle

The disputed ownership of the Rabbit telepoint logo stirred fresh controversy in the High Court this week when a QC challenged client claims about the pitch at which Hook Advertising won the pounds 4 million account.

The disputed ownership of the Rabbit telepoint logo stirred fresh

controversy in the High Court this week when a QC challenged client

claims about the pitch at which Hook Advertising won the pounds 4

million account.



Alistair Wilson, Hook’s counsel, was questioning client evidence that

pitching agencies had specifically been asked to come up with logo ideas

and that the one with the best idea would get the business. If it was

true that pitching agencies were told that everything depended on the

logo idea, Wilson said, why had Hook gone into the pitch with a broadly

based strategic and creative pitch?



Why too, after it won the business, did the agency settle for a short

contract on not particularly generous terms if it thought it did not

have a valuable asset in the logo?



Wilson was summing up on the 12th day of a hearing into a claim by

Hutchison Personal Communications that it owns the copyright to the

logo, devised by Chris Joseph, Hook’s chairman. The logo, a central

feature of the Rabbit ad campaign, was presented at the pitch and before

an agreement with the agency was signed. Hook’s lawyers say Hutchison’s

copyright ownership claim should be rejected because the logo was

produced on the agency’s initiative and not because of a client’s

request to do so.



A ruling by Mrs Justice Arden, which is expected next month, will

establish the first legal precedent on the extent of agencies’ rights

over their creative ideas.



Wilson claimed that no formal agency brief had been produced by the BYPS

telepoint consortium, which later sold the Rabbit licence to Hutchison.



He said Hook had not gone into the pitch to present a logo but to prove

itself capable of running the BYPS account. It had no idea how big an

impact the Rabbit concept, which was an afterthought to Hook’s pitch,

had made on BYPS, he claimed. If BYPS had wanted the copyright it would

have been easy to make provision for it in the contract, he added.



The hearing finishes at the end of this week.



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