The Observer has agreed to donate £3,000 to Great Ormond
Street Children's Hospital following a dispute with Fallon over the use
of one of the agency's pitch ideas in its advertising.
The agency had presented a number of ideas to Marc Sands, the marketing
director of the Guardian Newspaper Group, during the pitch for The
Observer business, which was awarded three weeks ago to Mother.
Despite not being successful in the pitch, Sands told the agency that he
would be running a version of one of its ads to advertise the
forthcoming Observer Sports Monthly magazine.
"It was absolutely identical, even down to the typeface," said Robert
Senior, a partner at Fallon, who expressed his opinion to Sands, also
asking for a nominal fee as an act of goodwill.
Sands maintained that permission had been given to run the ad, but
Fallon countered that permission had never been asked, just taken as
read. It asked Sands to contribute a minimal sum of £3,000 to
Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.
The ad ran every day in The Guardian up to the publication of the
Observer Sport Monthly it was advertising.
Sands said: "We said we are going to run the idea, and asked if they
were OK with that, and they said yes."