(23 May 2022) Over the weekend, the German carmaker Audi became the center of a massive plagiarism controversy as a new video campaign was accused of ripping off content from a prominent Chinese video blogger.
The ad, which was produced by the London-based advertising agency M&C Saatchi, featured prominent Hong Kong actor and musician Andy Lau Tak-wah as he delivered a monologue about Xiaoman, the eighth solar term and second solar term of summer on the traditional Chinese calendar.
However, the monologue was not his, nor was it written by Audi or M&C. Instead, it was published in 2021 on Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, by a prominent video blogger that uses the name Beida Mange.
Mange, who has nearly 4 million followers, pointed out the copying in a video comparing the two works. This kicked off a firestorm of controversy in China, with Audi, M&C and Lau all apologizing for the copying. Audi has also removed the video.
Audi, for its part, blamed the plagiarism on a “lack of supervision and lax review.” While that may be true, it actually belies a unique challenge to cases such as this. Namely, there is no easy way to detect this kind of plagiarism, no matter how hard one works to spot it.
Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today has the original post here.