The two rival car manufacturers, Volkswagen and Citroen, have produced
near identical advertising campaigns, both of which are breaking in the
The VW ad, through BMP DDB, broke last weekend, surprising Citroen,
whose campaign through Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper had already gone into
production and will break this week.
Both ads promote the car companies’ offers on in-car air conditioning,
and, ironically, are pastiches of another ad.
The press and poster work for the two car-makers mimic the old Sure
campaign by Lintas, where the brand logo remains dry, while the rest of
a model’s back drips with sweat.
The Citroen Xantia ad reads, ‘Sure sign of success,’ while the VW
copyline is, ‘Air conditioning now available on Golfs and Polos for only
pounds 500. Cool.’
Nigel Brotherton, the ad manager for Volkswagen, said: ‘We don’t want to
run an ad with an idea that a competitor is using, but there is nothing
we can do about it now.’
Citroen’s public affairs director, Marc Raven, played down the clash:
‘It is just one of those things.’
However, Brotherton said: ‘This is a nightmare situation that we have
managed to avoid until now.’
Brotherton is not accusing Citroen of plagiarism, but does fear that
this coincidence will undermine Volkswagen’s campaign, which was art
directed by Joanna Wenley and written by Jeremy Craigen.