Here we go again! Another hot topic about using the public domain for a commercial project. In this case, Mercedes is introducing their new truck the new Mercedes G 500 while promoting the car with a colorful background created by various artists from the street.
German carmaker Mercedes Benz has filed a series of civil actions seeking a declaratory judgment that it did not infringe graffiti artists’ copyright in a marketing campaign for its G 500 Series truck. The following artists are involved in this case: Jeff Soto, Dabls, Denial, and Maxx242.
Mercedes used their murals in an advertising campaign and has now asked the court to make a decision if these murals can be used in their advertisement. The campaign where the mentioned works are used were launched in the beginning of 2018. The artists won’t receive any payment and aren’t approached for permission.
I called this a hot topic because I know many fellow artists will talk about this and have their own opinion about this topic. From the moment my colleague at the office started about it, we kept on discussing. At the end of the discussion, we all agreed that we totally understand the specific artists and we agreed on the fact that Mercedes missed a certain and probably the most important point: communication during their expensive traject of this advertisement.
Personally, I think if Mercedes is looking for a well-executed promotion, they found the right environment to create a stunning advertisement while promoting their new truck. It’s a shame they did not found a graffiti / Street Art organization who look into their concept and give them the right information and advice to create something that both parties can work with…
We are really curious about your vision on this topic. Feel free to leave your comment, shoot but don’t kill!