The Australian director of a short film just found out that his own content was illegally used in a recent Marlboro promotional video. It all came to light on John Oliver’s recent show.
Recently, John Oliver did a skit on “This Week Tonight” about the Marlboro man. The Inquisitr reported on Oliver’s latest show and revealed the new branding icon he came up with – “Jeff, the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat.” During the show Oliver aired a promotional video released by the cigarette company.
In the video of the show itself, at around 5:06, footage of the new Marlboro promotion begins. That promotional video contains footage allegedly stolen from a short film, Move, directed by Rick Mereki for STA Travel to promote their brand back in 2011.
The video of Oliver’s show is included here.
The concept of Mereki’s short film is that it shows a man walking towards the camera, while the background cycles through scenes from 11 different countries. The film apparently took 44 days to shoot.
It was only when the Melbourne-based director of the film watched the John Oliver show recorded Sunday that he discovered that Marlboro had illegally used his hard-earned footage in their promotional video.
While John Oliver exposes during the show that Big Tobacco is still making so much money despite Americans cutting down on smoking, it seems the tobacco company saved themselves some money by cutting corners while attempting to promote their brand.
Marlboro accused of stealing Aussie film @Rickmereki
— AAP_Entertainment (@aap_ent) February 17, 2015
On seeing the footage, Mereki took to Twitter himself as did so many others.
— Rick Mereki (@Rickmereki) February 16, 2015
According to Newscom, Mereki then tweeted to John Oliver’s show.
“@LastWeekTonight After watching last nights show I learnt Marlboro illegally used part of my short film MOVE in that “Maybe” promo video??”
However, there might possibly be a bright side to the whole issue, as some Twitter users point out that Oliver’s show is currently going viral, along with the illegal content included in it, so his movie is at least getting a lot of face time.
According to the Daily Mail, STA Travel are looking into the issue and AAP Entertainment are reportedly trying to contact Philip Morris and Marlboro over the use of the video footage. Mereki’s ingenious short film Move is included below.
[Image: Screengrab from Move on Vimeo]