What Happened: Coincidence or copycat? A WeChat campaign published on May 13 by Chopard has been suspected of plagiarism by industry leaders. Titled “Still making a choice?,” the ad featuring brand ambassador Yang Zi wearing various diamond accessories has been accused of “unauthorized image exchange and misappropriation of the interactive structure” of a Tiffany WeChat campaign published on March 31. In the Tiffany post called “Play with avant-garde style and keep up with the rhythm of Rosé,” clicking on an image of Blackpink member Rosé transitions into a three rows of sliding images of products.
The Jing Take: As described by local new media art research institute JZCreative, Chopard’s use of the same interactive page design infringes on the copyright interests of service customers and contradicts luxury’s spirit of original craftsmanship. As such, the Swiss luxury jeweler has been blacklisted from the interaction design industry, according to the notice. However, beyond the advertising and design world, it is unlikely this news will make a big splash: searching for “Chopard copies Tiffany” pulls up no results other than JZCreative’s announcement.
Although this is unlikely to influence Chopard’s brand perception, it does point to a promising trend in China: the strengthening of intellectual property (IP) rights. In September 2021, China’s State Council issued the “Outline for Building a Powerful Intellectual Property Country (2021-2035)” to comprehensively improve the creation, utilization, and protection of IP, noting that “brand competitiveness will be greatly improved.” JZCreative shows that besides cracking down on counterfeit luxury items, it is also important to tackle plagiarism online. Prior to this, JZCreative also revealed that Gucci had used copyrighted code from BMW on its WeChat page.
When it comes to content creation, brands now have more to worry about than misleading or culturally insensitive ads; what they build into their backend can be scrutinized as well.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.