THE Creativity Chronicles
I want to begin by saying today was supposed to be a wonderful post about the importance of content strategy but it’s been blog-bombed by the need to address this topic (and a bit of a rant – soz).
Firstly can I apologise for any offence caused; this was never my intention. I thought your brochure was amazing but I most certainly never intended to replicate this.
I paid for someone to do the brochure but I should have checked more closely, I have gone in and changed all of the wording and hope this is okay.
I see this email in various forms about three times a week. It’s always the same – someone copies a clients work, gets caught, apologises, blames an anonymous copywriter/designer/husband – it’s never them of course. They are always super shocked and of course mortified etc.
Firstly – brands, entrepreneurs, business owners – please create original content. I promise you it will pay dividends to create your own voice. You don’t have to hire a copywriter, you can put the time in and do it yourself but it is never OK to take the content from someone else (who has invested time and money working with a copywriter to create it). It’s also extremely cowardly to blame someone else. Take it on the chin that you’ve copied and stop it now because if you haven’t been caught you most likely will be. Worse still, you might not be caught by the business but by the customer. I’ve actually had clients point out when people have taken my content and tried to put their name to it. Bit awks really as then you look bad to the people you are actually trying to impress in the first place.
But the people I really want to appeal to in this blog are the designers and copywriters. I know that no respectful designer or copywriter would rip off someone else’s work intentionally and call it their own. Nobody I know would do that. But I also understand there’s a grey area where a client says “I want this – make it happen”. Recently a hotel client did just that with a designer I love and respect. He told them point blank – I’m not copying someone else’s work. I will create your own identity or go elsewhere. They fired him.
And sometimes that is what it takes. Stand by your guns, do the right thing. Do not copy or clone another creative just because a client has a gun against your head. We need to come together to stop this shameless stealing. It’s ok to be inspired by something but if someone is asking you outright to copy something and actually lift wording and pretend it’s theirs, that’s not OK. What if someone did that to your work? It crushes clients every time they discover they’ve been totally ripped off – logos, wording, brand colours, templates – all taken.
I know that I can’t stop brands that do this. But I can appeal to other creatives in the community working alongside me. If everyone says no to every request to rip off another identity, together we will be stronger in protecting our creative property and educating entrepreneurs on the importance of authenticity in their branding.
Creativity over copying – who’s with me?