The makers of an outrageous short film that portrays ad folk as coke-snorting, kowtowing idiots, which is being e-mailed around the globe by agency and production company staff, are being sued.
Ironically, the film, entitled Truth in Advertising, is not the work of an anti-capitalist group or the anti-ad organisation Adbusters, but ad industry personnel.
It was made for Canada's Marketing Awards Show and was co-written by David Chiavegato, a copywriter at the Toronto-based Palmer, Jarvis and Tim Hamilton, who also directed the piece through Avalon Films.
Designed to be an entertaining spoof for the show only, the film makes fun of the process of making an ad and the personalities involved, from client to director.
But the plan to make it a one-off backfired when a copy was leaked on to the internet where it has spread like wildfire. The film has been widely circulated around the globe through individual e-mails.
Legal action has been taken by the actors involved who only agreed to participate if the film had one airing.
The cast includes the comedian Colin Mochrie, a regular on Channel 4's Whose Line is it Anyway?.
Delivered in a completely dead-pan manner, the film opens on a client meeting with Mochrie playing the part of a marketing director. A brand manager then presents a raft of options to the agency, stating: 'I've tried to cram in as many ideas as I can into this brief because I'm really too weak and too stupid to make a decision.'
The scene ends with a creative refusing 'an awkward, uncomfortable drink with the client' to instead 'snort cocaine off a stripper's tits'.
Lori Vitale, a spokeswoman at Zooma Zooma, which represents Tim Hamilton in New York, said: 'The company is being sued by the actors and the film has been withdrawn from all websites.'