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
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
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.