Brits to rip-off Gruen Transfer?

First it was The Games, now The Gruen Transfer?

Zapruder’s Other Films’ have lawyers on the case in London after Channel Four commissioned a pilot for The Mad Bad Ad Show.

The UK panel show hosted by comedians Micky Flanagan and Mark Watson draws upon panellists from the advertising industry and “brings together an original mix of Fact Ent challenges, panel show banter and documentary insight. It involves classic adverts, funny adverts from overseas, and even adverts made especially by the teams for the show.”

Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Entertainment Madeleine Knight even goes so far as to say, “We all connect with famous ads but we don’t always know why. Why do drum-playing gorillas make you buy chocolate or meerkats sell insurance? In this new panel show, Micky Flanagan and Mark Watson join some of the ad industry’s biggest names to examine the science of adverts and come up with some ads of their own for impossible-to-sell products.”

Shameless stuff. Gruen Transfer previously tackled the drum-playing gorilla from Cadburys.

A pilot of Gruen was made for BBC3 in 2009 and the format has previously been pitched at global TV markets.

The Games creators John Clarke and Ross Stevenson are continuing their pursuit of a claim against the BBC, after they pitched the concept in 2008-09 to the show’s eventual writer and producer.

In copyright legal cases much of the issue lays with execution not in ideas.

Some viewers have noted similarities between Good News Week and the UK’s Have I Got News For You, and Spicks and Specks and the UK’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Source: The Australian


  1. Armchair Analyst

    This comes to me as no suprise. These days everything is stolen or ripped off. I just wonder if it will be all worth it for Zapruder’s Other Films. Do they have enough money to fight this all the way. They should have just done a deal to allow them to make theshow and for it to be broadcast it if they give credit to Zapruder’s Other Films and maybe a portion of the revenue made.

  2. Charlie Kelly

    I think these things are really tricky to near impossible.

    “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?”

    That was ripped off a game from “The Howard Stern Show.”

    He used to a whole bunch of are you smarter than a homeless person, a 8th grader, a 5th grader. Even though the creator of the show is a known big fan of sterns, Even though stern has from his TV show, a segment, “Are you Smarter than a 5th grade?,” where they put someone up against a 5th grader and ask them general knowledge questions. He was still told it’d not enough to sue.

  3. @Sheba Percy from what ive read the problem with the BBC 3 show was that they couldnt get any advertisers to take part.

    I always wanted to see Gruen discussed the Meerkats.

  4. This may be a rip-off, but what isn’t?
    I hear that there’s a channel in the UK that’s planning to make a show all about communicating local day-to-day happenings, much the same as any news service found on Australian TV. Those thieving Brits!

  5. Ha, they should analyse their own pitch for BBC3, heheh.
    Seriously though, the key phrase there in there promo spiel is “än original mix”..not really.
    But imitation is the highest form of flattery , just acknowledge this and all good.
    I was devastated to read that Spicks and Specks wasn’t a Aussie original like I thought ,a bit deflating.

  6. thanks for letting me know about this, being British if it ever makes it to air, ill watch and do a comparsion with Gruen Transfer.

    That said even if they are similar, it hardly means anything look at shows like Wife Swap and Trading Places of Supernanny and Nanny 911, basically the same shows, yet not one of them has gone to court.

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