An Open Letter to JayJaysby Bartlett / 19.02.2014
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and that you flatter to deceive. Well whoever ‘they’ are must’ve been talking about the clothing company that is JayJays, who’ve flattered us with deception by copying our original WTF T-shirt, as worn by SA gaming champion Robert Botha (below). Below the belt.
An article recently appeared on Moneyweb.co.za, stating (amongst other things) that: “This is all rather ironical, because Laugh it Off specialises in adopting and adapting other companies’ trademarks in order to pass social comment.”
To answer Moneyweb’s question – “Is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?” Sure, we smoke pot. Lots of it. Our designer who came up with WTF said she was totally baked at the time. Which was August 2009, according to the date on the original design file. Who needs a good memory when you have Adobe Auto Save? But just because we smoke pot doesn’t mean we’re not original or that we’d call a company of Raymond Ackermans ‘black’. That’d be racist. We’d rather call them gay. And we don’t mean that in the awesome, homosexual sense, but rather in the lame, weak and creatively bankrupt way.
What we are also saying is that Laugh it Off needs you. You, you soldier for freedom of expression who fought with us in spirit all the way to the Constitutional Court. You, you once proud owner of a Laugh it Off T-shirt who eventually gave it to your gardener. You, person of awesomeness reading mahala.co.za.
We need you to send a mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know just how awesome his company is for the great lengths that they go to trawl the internet for original content and then plagiarize and reproduce it in the Far East at prices so cheap they can afford to undercut the original underdog. Talk about screwing the pooch, the panda, and the SATirist.
Go a step further if you feel to and let them know your thoughts on their Facebook wall.
Maybe y’all can make enough noise that their marketing team will sit up and pay attention and realize that this kind of business practice is uncool and that it could affect their sales?
Maybe their lawyers will pick a fight with us, or maybe, just maybe, their HR department will commission one local artist to produce some original T design work that they can call their own.
Wouldn’t that be a result? One more graphic designer gets paid, one more chocolate starfish gets thrown back into the sea of discontent. That’s all we can hope for.
For our part in this dodgy episode, all we can do is try and be the best chocolate starfish we can be: stay fresh and stay close to the high water mark.
Visit www.laughitoff.co.za, its cooler than JayJays.