A McDonald’s commercial spot that was produced for the Latin American market has come under fire after accusations of plagiarism.

What the Advertisers had to say

The commercial had used animation and layout from the short “Cows & Cows & Cows,” which was created by English animator Cyriak Harris, known professionally by the mononym Cyriak.

The studio that animated the spot, Juan Solo, which is based in Buenos Aires, did not originally deny Cyriak's influence. One of the studio’s owners, Leandro Pedrouzo, originally defended the action by claiming that it had only used the Cyriak piece as a reference point, and implied that he and the director originally wanted to produce a more “realistic” commercial, but that the client wanted to use influence from the Cyriak piece more directly.

Despite this, a spokeswoman for DPZ&T, the Brazilian agency behind the commercial, however, later denied that Cyriak’s work was used in the commercial, and claims that they came up with the idea of bouncing cows. However, she also claimed that, even if they had used another piece for reference in the commercial, it would be somewhat justified as a common practice in the advertising industry to use creative references.

McDonald’s, however, had pulled the commercial spot over the controversy.

The trouble with cows

The originalCyriak video can be watched below.

Cyriak took to social media to publicly criticize the plagiarism, going so far as to show a side by side comparison of his animation and the commercial.

The Swedish incident

Interestingly enough, this is not the first time that the fast-food icon has been accused of stealing the artist's work.A previous commercial produced for the Swedish market, which can be seen below, was previously under fire for reportedly plagiarizing the concept from another Cyriak animation, a gif that also showed a man infinitely superimposing himself through his own beard.

According to a statement from Cyriak, it can be “expensive and stressful” for artists in his position to take legal recourse against companies that copy the work of others, and that it prevents advertisers and artists from forming a beneficial “symbiotic relationship” with each other. He also admitted regret that someone was likely paid to produce something he created for free.

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