Nine calls in Plagiarism Special Ops

It must be very flattering if you’re Discovery Networks.

First there was the similarity between the There’s Nothing Like Australia ad and the Discovery promo.

Now Nine has a similar idea for Rescue Special Ops that certainly seems to draw inspiration from another Discovery show, this time Bear Grylls. For maximum comedy, press play on the top video, wait 30 seconds, then hit play on the bottom video…  

Update: Or to save you the trouble, a kindly soul has now edited the two together side by side…

Update 2:


  1. Scott Rhodie
    10 Jun 10
    11:40 am

  2. wow…that’s the most obvious rip-off I’ve ever seen!

  3. Simon
    10 Jun 10
    11:47 am

  4. “i know, lets copy this UK promo, nobody will ever know…”

  5. Anon
    10 Jun 10
    11:52 am

  6. Channel 9 should be embarrassed and ashamed- what a joke.

  7. Glebe2037
    10 Jun 10
    11:54 am

  8. And the show is nothing like Police Rescue either #freshdramapremisepleasefreetv

  9. Nate
    10 Jun 10
    12:02 pm

  10. Who’s actually genuinely shocked to find out the Channel nine folk have absolutely no ideas of their own? All one needs to do is look at their “original content” they produce to see they’ve never done anything they haven’t nicked form overseas.

  11. zeff
    10 Jun 10
    12:35 pm

  12. ‘Steal the One’….

  13. Kimota
    10 Jun 10
    12:38 pm

  14. OMG! That blatant? almost shot for shot?

    Seriously, if this is what Aussie free to air is coming to, it really is time for a shake up!

  15. Adam Paull
    10 Jun 10
    12:39 pm

  16. I guess things never change…

    I remember working on a Nine news promo 20 years ago (omg… !) in TCN’s Studio 2 where the promo department were using an American news promo as a “template”. We’d set up each shot so the panel of suits could fuss over how close they were to the original. The end result was a frame accurate, carbon copy of the American ad with no creative input whatsoever.

    It was embarrassing then, and in today’s connected world, even more embarrassing now.

  17. Opheli8
    10 Jun 10
    1:49 pm

  18. Very speshial…

  19. S
    10 Jun 10
    1:57 pm

  20. as if this is a shock. We steal so many ideas from the UK such Ar Spicks and Specks and most of Hamish and Andy’s ideas used on Rove. There’s no shame in admitting that the Britts have better telly then we do.

  21. Heather
    10 Jun 10
    2:07 pm

  22. Was that even legal?

    Worst television station ever.

  23. the ref
    10 Jun 10
    2:43 pm

  24. Bear Grylls is a god.

    I call this a dignified offering to a higher power, for channel 9 know they are nothing…..

  25. Ham
    10 Jun 10
    2:44 pm

  26. Who is running the promo team at 9?


    10 Jun 10
    2:49 pm


  29. oh dear
    10 Jun 10
    2:49 pm

  30. lol at zeff (and that’s hilarious)

  31. Network
    10 Jun 10
    2:54 pm

  32. Clearly 9 need an agency to conceive their promo’s.

  33. ben c
    10 Jun 10
    2:54 pm

  34. that is absolutely ridiculous…

  35. Robert
    10 Jun 10
    3:02 pm

  36. Just a coincidence, surely.

  37. Alan
    10 Jun 10
    3:08 pm

  38. Easy tiger, you’ll most likely find that Spicks & Specks is a licensed version of a UK show, not a copy. And hopefully this ad is a licensed version of the Discovery ad. Hopefully.

  39. Ash
    10 Jun 10
    3:09 pm

  40. Wow…..

  41. Paul boy
    10 Jun 10
    3:18 pm

  42. i just subscribed to foxtel

  43. Jimmy
    10 Jun 10
    3:22 pm

  44. It ain’t the first time.

    Nine’s “Still the One” promo from 2006 is a straight rip off of Michael Buble’s video “Spiderman”



    Channel Nine – The Home of Unoriginal Ideas

  45. Ms Pants
    10 Jun 10
    3:22 pm

  46. As if there was ever anything on Australian TV that was truly original.

  47. Riarn
    10 Jun 10
    3:23 pm

  48. Perhaps the first episode is Les Hill rescuing the Chl 9 creative team from captivity

  49. Crispan Hanks
    10 Jun 10
    3:26 pm

  50. Ms Pants – great to hear from you.

  51. Liza
    10 Jun 10
    3:39 pm

  52. Wow, most blatant rip-off I’ve seen.

  53. M
    10 Jun 10
    4:05 pm

  54. It’s not the first time.
    9 ripped off a UK Spook’s promo for their launch of the mentalist

  55. 9 Creatives
    10 Jun 10
    4:10 pm

  56. Steal the One or maybe Steal more, how about Steal the lot.

  57. Anon
    10 Jun 10
    4:43 pm

  58. and then there’s this: – the original weapon of choice. – the other weapon

    If they were serious about their craft though, surely they’d be turning this:

    into a getayway promo… if they were serious about their craft.

  59. katemmmm
    10 Jun 10
    4:52 pm

  60. not surprising at all. i dont know how they continue to get away with it….idiots

  61. Dan Ilic
    10 Jun 10
    5:38 pm

  62. Ha yeah.. some good examples there. I don’t think you could count the weapon of choice one as a rip off. I would definitely call that one Parody. But this latest one is a great example… love it!

  63. Johnny Evans
    10 Jun 10
    6:00 pm

  64. what a bunch of muppets.

    Channel 9 are a bunch of cunts.

  65. bored2def
    10 Jun 10
    7:15 pm

  66. Wow its almost like if you drunk and seeing doubles.

  67. Tara
    10 Jun 10
    11:32 pm

  68. These promos are produced for Nine by an external production company.

    If anything, the same production company has probably sold on the same idea to two different networks. Hardly a big deal given that the two promos aren’t even being aired in the same country.

  69. Crash
    11 Jun 10
    1:03 am

  70. The last time Australian TV had an original idea was “Sale of the Century” not surprising that “Steal the One” continues to copy. . . Discovery has some of the best docudramas on the box.

  71. DryIce73
    11 Jun 10
    3:30 am

  72. @ Tara: Actually I understand the Bear Grylls promo was produced inhouse by Discovery Channel in London for international release. They would hardly undermine their own international campaign by selling the center piece promo to such a low rent broadcaster. The blatant knock off – whoever actually produced it – is precisely that, a knock off.

  73. I Like It!
    11 Jun 10
    5:33 am

  74. It’s clear that these two ads have nothing in common. Bears ad just has him, the Nine ad has a whole bunch of people. In Bears ad, the word is Discovery while the Nine ad is Rescue. For those of you who think these two are similiar are on drugs. The creative staff over at Nine have probably worked on this ad for months now to ensure that it is a true representation of the show. They should take all the credit for this terrific ad……..anyone note the sarcasm! Nice job Nine!

  75. Alby
    11 Jun 10
    7:30 am

  76. A flagrant and very obvious copy of the Discovery Channel promo. Someone at Nine, the worst broadcaster in Australia, deserves to be sacked for this.

  77. fred
    11 Jun 10
    7:40 am

  78. In Nine’s defence I think everyone knows that their show will be different in one major way. IT WILL SUCK.

  79. Laiza
    11 Jun 10
    7:55 am

  80. Hence the reason I do not watch much free to air tv – all the originals that they rip off have been on cable for years

  81. Destry
    11 Jun 10
    7:58 am

  82. Only thing worse than the morality of that promo is the watchability of the series with that male lead. I mean… LOL

  83. Big deal, really
    11 Jun 10
    8:14 am

  84. Who watches TV promo’s anyway??? Care factor ZERO…

  85. Jeff
    11 Jun 10
    9:23 am

  86. Sack them. thats is a blatant ripp off. I bet they get paid big dollars for what? nothing.

  87. Marco
    11 Jun 10
    9:29 am

  88. @42.
    Laiza No.40 does. Even pays for it!

  89. indiancurry
    11 Jun 10
    9:37 am

  90. Hey, is there any way we can send this to Stephen Conroy? Probably he needs to edit his rationale on the FTV content generation gift & let off Murdoch for once.

  91. Ali
    11 Jun 10
    9:53 am

  92. The sad part is that, it is a bad copycat. At least they should have got the Discovery actor to do the promo for them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

  93. chris
    11 Jun 10
    10:05 am

  94. All the originality of a house brick.

    They stuffed Top Gear too….

    I switched off Nine after Ep1 of TG. They just plain suck.

  95. Stephen
    11 Jun 10
    11:09 am

  96. …and the guys at Nine still cash their cheques for being creatives.

    Good luck putting that one on your showreel.

  97. Kojak
    11 Jun 10
    12:56 pm

  98. Taking ideas from overseas is not uncommon. 99% of punters in Australia won’t have seen the UK Disco promo, and never will. Such a blatant ripoff is lame obviously, but essentially not a huge deal.

    But comparing Les Hill to Bear Grylls? Seriously? Don’t let Bear find out, he kill you real good.

  99. Jeff
    11 Jun 10
    1:46 pm

  100. Like hello!!! I have worked in the industry for over 30 years for different networks and indeed promotion departments. No matter who I worked for there was always a launch from CBS, NBC or ABC that we re-worked for the Australian market. Take the time to go back through history and dig out all plagiarism…trust me you will be very very busy, there is a lot. But hey I guess it gave everyone something to whinge about for a day or so!

  101. Stephen
    11 Jun 10
    2:15 pm

  102. @jeff

    So if everyone does it, it’s ok?

    Were you just ‘following orders’.

  103. Stephen
    11 Jun 10
    2:17 pm

  104. …and now the Tele has picked up on it

    so it’s clearly doing damage when ‘Steal the One ‘ is starting to stick.

  105. Martin
    12 Jun 10
    4:14 am

  106. Sounds like a for Media Watch

  107. Jeff
    12 Jun 10
    9:43 am

  108. Following orders….hmmmmm I think it was more to do with, who wants to spend money with an agency to design something new. It’s not a matter of it’s ok because everyone does it….it’s just a fact that everyone does it!!! In earlier years it was just a matter of putting a Seven, Nine or Ten logo on top of the original source and changing the voice tag. Copying anyone else to make your product sell, gee let’s look around the entire franchise world and have a real hard look, actually come to think about it, the look isn’t really all that hard. We all do it to some degree and just because it’s somebody like the Nine Network and not Fred’s Rescue Service from Wagga Wagga it becomes a big deal.

  109. Shocked
    12 Jun 10
    8:35 pm

  110. @Jeff

    You don’t need to spend money with an agency to get an original idea. Clearly Nine had a decent budget, or free reign on facilities in house in order to create that spot.

    If the money/resources were spent on an original idea, that would have taken, I don’t know, about a few days to a week longer – Nine would have had a decent original promo to promote the show with.

    What really sucks is that it’s clear the people who executed this spot have absolutely no idea about what their doing. The energy, music, audio design, photography, direction, pacing are all wrong. Attention to detail is clearly not Nine’s strong suit. I have worked in the industry too, and yes, I have REPOSTED a promo or two from a different network before. REPOSTING can mean that you use the promo that was used for the show when it launched in the states or wherever, putting on your own endpage and voice over. There is nothing wrong with doing that – if they have sold it better, than by all means use it, and it’s one less promo you gotta make. US networks often send out their promos with the shows they’ve sold you. But stealing a promo from another channel and *trying* to copy it for a completely different show, with a lot of the same shots, is not OK. It’s fucking lazy, and I would never even fucking consider it, unless it was a spoof or something.

  111. anon
    23 Jun 10
    2:29 pm

  112. zeff – “Steal the One” – bahahahahaha!

  113. irony
    2 Jul 10
    12:59 pm

  114. anon – “Steal the One” – bahahahahaha!

  115. Louai Alasfahani
    3 Jul 10
    9:09 pm

  116. This thing happens often by bankrupt creative directors but we should not accept it. here is another incident and how it was managed
    The worst ever case of TVC copycat (as far as i know) is the stealing of 14 TV promos and Mc Donald’s

  117. Inky
    7 Jul 10
    5:01 pm

  118. Did Phillip Adams have a hand in this? He can be very light-fingered.