Did they get permission?


A bunch of blogs have recently posted this awesome commercial from Ireland’s Marriage Equality campaign. It’s a really great concept that hits home at the separate-but-not-equal argument. The problem is, it was done just as well in New York several years ago.

Watch the two spots and tell me Ireland’s version isn’t a complete rip off. I hope for their sake, they got permission from the original ad creators to remake it for Ireland. Otherwise, we’re about to see some legal battles – and not over gay marriage.

UPDATE: I’ve posted twice on the Marriage Equality YouTube channel asking if they had permission to copy the ad, and both times the comments were quickly removed. An email to ME’s PR department has gone unanswered. However Publicis NY (the agency that created the original video for MTV in 2005) has told me they’re looking into whether permission was given or not. Based on ME’s actions to my inquiries, I’m guessing no, but I’ll post again when I have more information.

UPDATE #2: See the comment below from the actor in the commercial. Sounds like they did get permission all the way around. Carry on. Nothing to see here.

7 Responses to “Did they get permission?”

  1. 1 doozie

    Followed you over here from AdFreak…of course great minds think alike…I got my BA in Advertising from the UofO in 1996. 😉

  2. 2 Dan

    I cant imagine anyone could have so little self respect to rip off something so blatantly. But as coincidences go, this is one of the closest Ive seen.

  3. 3 hughoconor

    Hi there,

    I was the actor in Sinéad’s Hand, and we certainly did get permission.
    When I was approached to act in it the producers were very clear
    that they were remaking the ad from the original filmmakers for the
    Irish market, and the original work is clearly credited on the Irish
    Marriage Equality website, http://www.marriageequality.ie.

    The question was recently (and quite properly) asked on an Irish
    filmmaking website, and both myself and the producer responded – http://www.filmmakersnetwork.ie/forums/showthread.php?t=5704.

    Hope this clears it up, and the subject returns to the most important
    thing in question…



  4. 4 dognpony


    Thanks so much for clearing all that up. I’m really glad permissions were granted and you guys did it all the right way. For the record, I have no problem with re-making a spot for a new market. The ME site might be better served by saying it was more than “inspired” by the American version though. It would clear up some of the confusion.

  5. 5 hughoconor

    Thanks dognpony,

    I hear you. And I’m disappointed your emails went
    unanswered. It’s not like anyone is hiding this. It
    was for a good cause, and everyone worked for free.

    You have to appreciate that nobody really expected
    it to be seen outside Ireland originally. It seems to
    have made an impression abroad far greater than was
    anticipated, which is attributable to the power
    of the original concept more than anything else.

    That, and the crazy power of the internet..

  6. 6 Elaine

    I definitely have to say that I don’t think it was done just as well in New York – I think the Irish one is much better. Well done to all involved and congratulations on the astounding success.

  7. 7 Jas

    I like the Irish one WAY better. The music is a lot more emotionally compelling. No offense to the actor in the NY spot but Hugh is fantastic in the Irish one. His facial expressions are bang on! He says a lot with his face/eyes and I was really rooting for him as he went door to door to get permission.

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