Y&R’s Global Sony Spot Pulled Universal Claims Pig Resembles ‘Babe’

The flying pig that Young & Rubicam here recently introduced in its first global campaign for Sony may be going down in legal flames, sources said.
Sony pulled the ad after Universal Studios complained that the pig resembled the talking porcine from the movie Babe, sources said.
The snafu comes as Y&R angles to get the entire Sony account, sources said.
The spot, which broke in the U.S. last month, features a pig that yearns to fly. Captions hint that even the most unlikely thoughts can be realized. The pig achieves its dream, and the tagline, “Do you dream in Sony?” is the payoff.
This pig does not talk, unlike the character in the 1995 film Babe. Nonetheless, sources said Universal has sent the Tokyo client a cease-and-desist letter regarding the spot. The ad was created jointly by Y&R and Dentsu in Japan. Sony, Y&R and Universal all declined comment.
One source said Sony may re-air the spot if the company believes it is on solid legal footing.
Y&R picked up the global assignment last year. Billings were undisclosed. Sony’s 1997 U.S. ad budget was about $170 million, per Competitive Media Reporting. Lowe & Partners/SMS here is Sony’s U.S. agency. –with Teresa Buyikian and Noreen O’Lear

Publish date: April 20, 1998 https://dev.adweek.com/brand-marketing/yrs-global-sony-spot-pulled-universal-claims-pig-resembles-babe-44787/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT