Darrell Lea cancels ‘No Worries Jan’ ad after Yellow Pages’ legal threats

Darrell Lea has cancelled its ‘No Worries Jan’ campaign, which generated headlines after the Yellow Pages – the brand behind the iconic ‘Not Happy Jan’ ad campaign from the early 2000s – issued a cease and desist letter yesterday.

The confectionary company said in a statement entitled “No Worries Sensis!!” that while it’s “disappointed” Sensis issued the legal threat, it will cancel the ads and send “a big box of chocolate their way”.

“We wanted to celebrate a classic Australian television ad and give it a modern twist,” the statement read.

“As an Australian company with a 92-year heritage, we wanted to give an iconic ad a new lease of life and from the comments we received, the response was extremely positive.

“However, Sensis has demanded that we shut down our campaign through its lawyers.”

It was the first campaign created by Akkomplice for Darrell Lea, after the creative agency won the account earlier this month. The reimagined ‘Jan’ campaign was intended to relaunch the Australian confectionary brand into the market, after it fell into administration in 2012.

Darrell Lea noted in its statement that, at first, Sensis seemed to enjoy the ad.

“We were particularly delighted when the Sensis social media team posted their support of our ad across their social media channels [on Wednesday 29 May].”

But yesterday, Yellow Pages’ executive general manager, James Ciuffetelli said that seeing Darrell Lea use the Jan concept was a “total shock to us and our customers”, leading Sensis to send a cease and desist letter to Darrell Lea CEO Tim York, major TV stations and Akkomplice, demanding that the ads be pulled.

“It is important for advertisers and agencies to protect their work, creativity and innovation. This advert is so loved we feel we share it with the Australian people, and we believe it is right to protect this from being cheapened to sell chocolate,” he said.

Yellow Pages does not have a registered trademark for the ‘Not Happy Jan’ slogan, and emphasised the argument that the Darrell Lea campaign “is misleading to consumers”, causing some to believe that Yellow Pages was involved in the ads.

However, despite the tumultuous week, Darrell Lea hinted that something new would be coming soon: “To Aussie consumers who enjoy a new take on life, we say – stay tuned.”


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