Sensis moves to block ‘Not Happy Jan’ remake, accusing Darrell Lea of ‘cheapening’ an icon

Yellow Pages’ parent company, Sensis, has issued Darrell Lea a cease and desist letter over the new ‘No Worries Jan’ campaign. Its inspiration is the Yellow Pages’ iconic ‘Not Happy Jan’ ad, which, according to the Yellow Pages, has been “cheapened to sell chocolate” without its approval.

A Sensis spokesperson confirmed that it has sent the cease and desist to Darrell Lea CEO Tim York and TV networks, and is in the process of sending it to Akkomplice, the creative agency behind the campaign. The letter asks for airing of the ad, which began this week, to cease immediately.

“We are flattered that Darrell Lea has used our iconic Yellow Pages advertising, featuring ‘Not Happy Jan’. However, it has been used without our consultation or approval,” said Yellow Pages’ executive general manager, James Ciuffetelli.

“To see the Yellow Pages brand, which is iconic and trusted by many Australians, and our beloved character Jan, used by another company for commercial gain is a total shock to us and our customers.

“By imitating our ad, we believe it is misleading to consumers. It’s clear on social media that a number of people believe Yellow Pages has endorsed this campaign, which is not the case.”

Ciuffetelli, said that Sensis is taking the protection of its “investments and goodwill” seriously.

“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.”

The ‘No Worries Jan’ campaign was designed to act as a springboard from which the confectionery brand can relaunch into the Australian market, following its 2012 administration.

Tim Stanford, Darrell Lea’s marketing manager, referred to the campaign upon its launch as “big, bold and brilliant work from Akkomplice”.


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