Sportsbet hits back in ad battle with CommBank

By By Amy Kellow | 17 August 2012

Sportsbet has hit back at Commonwealth Bank after the betting company's 'Ode to Can' parody was removed from Facebook, presumably at the bank's request.

The spoof has been taken down by Facebook on the back of a third party infringement claim, which the brand believes to have been generated by CommBank.

Sportsbet is currently in talks with Facebook about possibly reinstating the video. It is still visible on the brand's YouTube channel.

Sportsbet head of communications Haydn Lane told AdNews: "Some people CAN'T see the funny side of life, at Sportsbet we CAN. No one wants to be accused of being a CAN'T."

The brand has had no correspondence with Commonwealth Bank directly.

The commercial, uploaded 14 August, mimics CommBank's original 'Ode To Can' spot with similar scenery and dialogue. A Toni Collette look-a-like is seen sitting in a park reading irreverent betting-related prose, before panning out to reveal the world 'PUNT'.

She says: "It's a four letter word offensive as any. It describes a pass time loved by many. In the pub, in the bedroom, or on the loo, is a thing that Aussie blokes love to do. This four letter word ends in T, and is a word that means so much to me.

"Change the letter that is at the front, and you get a word that rhymes with "runt". But it would all mean nothing without you. Come and punt at sportsbet.com.au."

In response to the spoof, Commonwealth Bank said: "While we recognise that the parody is a bit of fun, we do take our intellectual property rights seriously as I’m sure does Sportsbet. We have taken steps to have the ad removed."

CommBank's original spot was the launchpad for its 'Can' campaign, created by M&C Saatchi, and rolled after several teaser activations. The campaign debuted in May, and has since featured multiple television spots including involvement from Olympic swimmer James Magnussen.

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