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Darrell Lea Not Happy Jan

Australian chocolate retailer Darrell Lea has received a cease-and-desist from Yellow Pages producer Sensis after it released a recent advertisement which was a near shot-for-shot remake of the 2000 classic ‘Not Happy, Jan’.

The advertisement, which Darrell Lea has since taken down, featured Australian actress Deborah Kennedy reprising her role as the disgruntled boss questioning her employee Jan about why their ad wasn’t in the Yellow Pages (called ‘the directory’ in the remade version).

However, instead of losing her temper at the fleeing employee, Kennedy pulls out a block of Darrell Lea chocolate and takes a bite, which calms her.

The ad ends with Kennedy yelling ‘no worries, Jan’ to the employee as she runs down the street.

With the same actor and a near-perfect recreation of the office environment, the two ads are incredibly similar, so much so that Sensis has issued Darrell Lea and advertising agency Akkomplice with a cease-and-desist letter, demanding they remove the ad from circulation.

Darrell Lea has since removed the advertisement, reports CMO, and says it will send Sensis chocolate to apologise. The company has also replaced the advertisement with a different one, this time featuring Jan sharing some chocolate with a fellow employee.

Speaking to SmartCompany, director of InsideOut PR Nicole Reaney says the remake has been a publicity win for Darrell Lea, even with the brand being forced to take the ad down.

“It’s been worthwhile as a means of generating brand attention. A consumer’s core interest is the appeal and relevance of ads, and many people would perceive the humour and reflect back on the times the ad brings up for them,” she says.

However, Reaney advises other companies to veer away from adopting a similar strategy.

“There needs to be a degree of analysis and research if a company was to take on an iconic brand through its advertising, as there are a number of factors to consider,” she says.

For the full article head to Smart Company

Nicole Reaney, Director of InsideOut PR and founder of influencer agency, #AsSeenOn . Nicole has extensive experience in corporate and consumer PR and Communications as is available to comment on topics.

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