Tuesday, June 7


Hysterical. Seems NJ Senatorial candidate Bret Schundler (R) had a photo mixup mar his campaign. Marketing/advertising firm Big Fish, hired by Schundler, explains that a "junior staffer" superimposed Schundler's picture over a photo of screaming Howard Dean supporters. Only problem is, ardent young Democrats recognized themselves in the picture:

"I think it's pathetic that he couldn't get a group of his own enthusiastic young people. ... There are plenty of people my age who are, sadly enough, Republican."

In further developments, the photog that shot the Dean photo claimed violation of his copyright.

As a Marketing/Communications executive this is something I deal with every single day. Junior staffers durn sure better understand that they cannot use another's intellectual property without proper licensing and permissions. I question every usage -- "junior staffers" can't just issue something like this without authorization. Every photo used that we don't explicitly own the rights to is vetted by our Law Department. And as for altering photos, we do it all the time, but ONLY as permitted under the licenses and permissions. It costs money to stay within the law, and it takes diligence and commitment to right-doing. The Schundler campaign's agency, Big Fish, is to be faulted for this breach of ethics and law.

But let's get real. No "junior staffer" and no ad agency is going to release something like this without permission of the campaign, either. Someone on Schundler's staff had to give the go-ahead. And the spirit of the thing, doctoring a photograph to make it seem the man had screaming hordes of young people on his side, is, on its face, deceptive. Is that the nature of the Schundler campaign? Is that what was conveyed to the agency?


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