Kaye hires SAS man in Bacardi reshoot row

The director, Tony Kaye, is at the centre of another industry storm this week after falling out with McCann-Erickson about his latest ad for Bacardi.

The director, Tony Kaye, is at the centre of another industry storm

this week after falling out with McCann-Erickson about his latest ad for

Bacardi.



The row, which centres on McCann’s decision to reshoot the commercial

without Kaye’s involvement, has all the ingredients of an adventure

movie: exotic locations, private detectives and public recriminations,

as well as a former SAS man, whom Kaye hired to co-ordinate ’guerrilla

action’ in the run-up to the commercial’s launch.



The problems began when Kaye found out that Bacardi had hired another

director, Malcolm Venville, to reshoot his commercial, which charts the

training regimes, and then match, between a black and a white boxer. The

original version had been found to need a clearer plotline in

research.



But when Venville arrived on location in the Dominican Republic, he

found that Kaye had spirited the ads’ two stars away to a secret

location, which Bacardi only reached after enlisting the services of a

’finder’. Since then, Kaye has unleashed a PR campaign against the pair

and threatened ’subversive action’.



Kaye called McCann’s actions a ’compelling personal and professional

battle of monumental proportions’, claiming that his work as a director

had been undermined by the reshoot. As Campaign went to press, Kaye and

McCann were locked in discussions about proposals to keep Venville’s

version for TV and run Kaye’s in the cinema.



Ben Langdon, the chairman and chief executive of McCann, commented:

’Working with Tony Kaye is always a voyage of discovery, this was a bit

more exciting than most.’



Last year, Kaye settled with Saatchi & Saatchi after a long-running

battle about a BA ad, and he goes to court this month as part of a fight

with New Line Pictures. Last year’s dispute with the directors of his UK

film company has not yet been resolved.