I got this question from a designer recently, and it’s generating a lot of comments on the CFC LinkedIn Group. What do you think this designer should do?
Here’s the question:
We recently had a company contract us to create an ad campaign for them. About a month into the project, one of their competitors hired us to do a campaign for them also.
We were on the final proofs of the first companies ad campaign when they decided they hated the direction and scraped the campaign. It was a very brilliant campaign that we know would work and draw a lot of interest. As per our contract since we were in the final proof stages we did a change in the scope of work contract and charged them for the additional time for us to do a very generic looking campaign (per their request) that we know won't work with artwork that was provided by that company. No matter what we said to them they just didn't get it, however they loved the generic campaign and said why couldn't you create this the first time?
Since they settled on the generic campaign as their final deliverable, our contract clearly states that any preliminary sketches remained property of "Acme Graphics" and proofs that aren't considered final deliverables remains the property of "Acme Graphics." Is it ok to use the artwork that was scraped on the first project for their competitor?
We have never encountered a situation like this and this is the ethical "grey" area, please help…"