Anorak News | Selfridges ‘Rip-Off’ Frank Sidebottom’s Family: Offer £10,000 ‘Donation’

Selfridges ‘Rip-Off’ Frank Sidebottom’s Family: Offer £10,000 ‘Donation’

by | 1st, November 2010

FRANK Sidebottom is dead (and so is papier-mache-topped Chris Sievey) and Selfridges’ London store is accused of ripping off his work for their Christmas window display. Hey, it’s what he would have wanted.

Selfridges says the creations are the work of one Erin Thompson, who aims to “awake the child within”. And you thought they were just designed to flog merchandise. Erin is the “Head of Visual at Selfridges”.

Jon Ronson, the writer surmises:

“Chris has only just died and I think it is most unfair. Apparently there was a grandiose press release but no mention of Frank. It just seems callous to me to plagiarise someone who has just died. The displays are clearly modelled on Frank. There is no question about it. It comes across as a rip-off.”

What says Selfridges, which has now paid a £10,000 “donation” (no, not a fee – a donation) to the Sidebottom estate? Well, a spokesman for Selfridges says:

“We were concerned to hear of the similarities between the heads on some of the mannequins in our new Christmas display and that of the Frank Sidebottom character created by Chris Sievey.

You heard of them? Did you see them?

“After investigation we can see why some fans of Chris Sievey’s character as well as some of the creator’s friends and family have reacted so quickly to this feature of our current windows.”

So. It is a rip-off? You took it down and then asked for permission to use the big puppet heads?

“We sincerely apologise if this has offended anyone and we have been keen to resolve matters quickly… We will also ensure that a suitable acknowledgement is made to Mr Sievey’s work in our window displays and in-store.”

How about paying him a fee?

Spotter: Karen

Posted: 1st, November 2010 | In: The Consumer Comment | TrackBack | Permalink