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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Car advert 'upsets' Swiss artists
Der Lauf Der Dinge
Der Lauf is award-winnng. (T&C Film AG)
Two Swiss artists have complained that an advert for a Honda TV car copied their award-winning short film, according to reports.

The Honda advert, called Cog, shows the component parts of a car in a chain reaction of events.

But Peter Fischli and David Weiss say it echoes their film Der Lauf Der Dinge (The Way Things Go).

The 1987 short film won awards at the Berlin and Sydney film festivals and has been described by the New York Times as a masterpiece.

It shows everyday items such as soap, string and balloons, moving in a domino-like chain reaction by the force of gravity, gas and fire.

Lawyers representing Mr Fischli and Mr Weiss wrote to Honda UK last month complaining about the alleged similarities and claiming copyright infringement.

A spokeswoman for Honda UK told BBC News Online it responded to the artists' complaints four days after receiving the letter.

"We have received no further communication from the artists and as such feel there is no reason to believe that this matter is ongoing," she said.

Mr Fischli told Creative Review magazine he believed they should have been consulted by Honda's advertising agency.

Honda advert
The ad cost 6m to make and took 606 takes
"Of course we didn't invent the chain reaction and Cog is obviously a different thing," he said.

"But we did make a film the creatives of the Honda ad have obviously seen. We feel we should have been consulted about the making of this ad."

Tony Davidson of ad agency Widen and Kennedy, which made Cog, told the magazine: "Advertising references culture and always has done.

"Part of our job is to be aware of what is going on in society. There is a difference between copying and being inspired by."

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