Across the transom comes the mystery email of the day, reading: “It was recommended that I pass this on to you..,” followed by this link. It goes to a post at All About Content, headlined “3M Carjacks the Post-It Note Jaguar.”
This is the story of how a $24.5 billion multinational corporation refuses to pay a small licensing fee to the amateur photographer who inspired its commercial campaign.
The short version of the allegations is:
In December 2006, somebody covered a car in Post-Its (above), and the images got a lot of Web love.
In spring 2008, 3M got in touch to license the image(s).
Apparently not wanting to pay the requested sum, 3M simply recreated its own version of the idea — Video — to use at point of sale, etc. (Below.)
I’ve done zero reporting on this, so basically I’m simply telling you that All About Content is outraged, and makes this familiar argument about backlash peril:
If you’re a corporate marketer interested in getting into social media marketing, viral video promotion, link bait, etc., I suggest consulting with people who know the communities you’re targeting. Any of us could have told you that stealing photo ideas from the community and using them to pimp your office supplies is not a good move.
So what will the consequences be for 3M? Well, we’ll see.
Thanks: Mystery tipster.