When Darrell Lea came up with its latest ad, it might have known a certain company would be ‘Not Happy Jan’.
But the chocolate-maker has now been slapped with a cease and desist letter from Sensis, the parent company of Yellow Pages, over the ‘No Worries Jan’ campaign, which was due to air across all major networks.
Sensis was unhappy Darrell Lea had decided to remake its famous 2000 campaign without its permission.
“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 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.”
The ‘No Worries Jan’ campaign follows a nearly identical script to the original ad, but rather than bellowing out “Not Happy Jan”, the protagonist instead calms down by taking a bite of Darrell Lea chocolate.
You can decide for yourself how similar the ads are here.
Darrell Lea has obliged with the cease and desist notice, issuing a statement confirming the ads have been cancelled, while also sneaking in a cheeky response.
“Iconic Australian confectionery company Darrell Lea believes that chocolate makes things better,” said a company spokesperson.
“Seeking to communicate this message, we wanted to celebrate a classic Australian television ad and give it a modern twist.
“In the spirit of Darrell Lea ‘Makes It Better’, we will be cancelling the ads and sending a big box of chocolate their way.”