Observer sends £3k to charity following Fallon pitch dispute

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."

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