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Showtime Rips Off ACLU, Parody or Plagiarism?


Is using some one else’s remarkable image a form of flattery, or is it just plain theft? You be the judge.

Almost 3 years ago, Los Angeles Branding and Advertising Agency, Benenson Janson, ran a series of ads for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in major Publications encouraging all people to stand up for the freedoms that are so important to all of us… not just by displaying the flag, but rather by being part of the process that helps defend the rights that keep us all free.

The things our flag really stands for.

The images in those ads underlined the difference between talking the talk and actually taking a stand and doing something. One of those images shows a close-up of a young woman with her tongue out, displaying an American flag, a beautiful and powerful statement.

(Image available for view as poster at ACLU’s online store-

That was then.

This is now.

A new campaign, launched just last week, displays the exact same visual concept… this time attached to comic Tracey Ullman’s head, used in a campaign by Showtime to promote her new political satire show, “State of the Union.”

(Image available on official Facebook page for State of the Union-

All without any clearance, permission from or recognition of the ACLU or BENENSON JANSON.

Probably when you are as big as Showtime, you can do just about anything you like to make a buck.

And… when you think about it… isn’t that the real problem with the State of Our Union today?


 Tracey Ullman
 Television, TV

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