new belgium shift pale lager

Creative agency alleges that New Belgium Shift campaign copied them

Work Labs, LLC proudly created the ad campaign set forth below in the left column during the years 1998 to 2003 (extensive additional work has been created as well for this campaign). New Belgium has just launched the ad campaign in the right column. Since showing its campaign in 2005 to a brewery in Colorado, Work Labs has maintained a strong relationship with this brewery. Said brewery also uses the same ad agency as New Belgium Brewery. That other Colorado brewery loved the campaign but was not yet ready to launch a new beer.

After looking at the photos (link below), do you feel like they have a legitimate axe to grind here or should they get back to work?

Note: the comments on Reddit’s beer forum are defending New Belgium while the comments on Media Bistro defend Work Labs.

via WORK Beer – Unite!.


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10 thoughts on “Creative agency alleges that New Belgium Shift campaign copied them

  1. I believe they do have a legitimate claim of copy-cattism (technical term). While I think NB’s work looks better, it certainly appears that they’ve copied the general ideas from Work Labs’ pieces.

  2. I’m confused. The article says Work Labs created the ad campaign for brewery B, and that brewery B and brewery New Belgium share the same ad agency. Is that ad agency not Work Labs then? If NB uses an ad agency, NB didn’t rip off the campaign. The ad agency did.

  3. Pingback: New Belgium responds to Work Labs’ copycat claims |

  4. This is just a stupid attempt to get some publicity on WORK Lab’s part. By copying do they mean… they used a lot of circles?…. and were both inspired by the notion of ‘work’?? this is dumb.

  5. That is a blatant rip off. The ad agency has BOTH of the breweries on their roster? That’s not unethical, but it’s pretty dumb on the part of BOTH breweries. Are they with that ad agency because of the name, because they certainly aren’t getting their money’s worth.

    Mike H, I believe Work Labs did the art in the past, it didn’t move forward, and now another ad agency (who has both breweries) used the previous proposed campaign now.

  6. In that case New Belgium has zero fault at stake. It’s either Brewery B’s fault for taking the work proposed by Work Labs and giving it to the new agency… or it’s Work Lab’s fault for not providing the proper paper work stating that their concepts cannot be used.

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  8. Someone needs to come clean and admit that they used Work Labs’ design and concepts. This is clearly not a case of someone being slightly influenced or just coincidence – there are far, far too many similarities. Work Labs is completely justified in pursuing this. Any design firm’s work and concept is always their own property unless they specifically sell the rights to the client. Despite how it happened, piracy is unethical.

  9. To clarify WORK Labs created the campaign and the WORK Beer was produced from 1998 to 2003 by a partner brewery called Main Street Beer Company. When Main Street closed in 2003 WORK retained the rights to the WORK Beer brand. While shopping for another producer WORK showed their campaign to a Colorado brewery that happened to use the same ad agency as New Belgium. This is ad agency is the connection between WORK Labs and New Belgium and had prior knowledge of WORK Beer.

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