A question for Camelbak

My name is Timothy McNutt and I’m a 19 year old graphic artist and bicycle retail store owner from the Pacific Northwest. Alright, to start, this post is about my artwork. I, in September of last year (2007) created an ad for my company’s website, www.ride-this.com. We are a specialty bicycle mailorder out of Milwaukie, OR.. The ad was actually for Camelbak’s new water bottles. We had full rights to advertise that item however we chose, short of altering their actual products in our display of them. Just the other day, I got a call from my mother, explaining that she saw a rip-off of my camelbak ad on the camelbak website, advertising their plastic’s BPA free content. I understand that in this situation, I probably have no rights whatsoever to protect this artwork, but was just wondering everyone’s opinion on the validity of this being a rip and whether there are any courses of action you think would be beneficial for myself in this situation.


Timothy McNutt

My original ad:


Camelbak’s advertisement can be found here: http://www.camelbak.com/betterbottle/?gclid=CIer74_c65UCFR8ViQodR3zqeQ

Posted by timmymcnutt  |  11 Comments  |  in Advertisement, Web


  1. kyle 09/23/2008 5:42 pm

    they definitely ran with your same concept. not surprising.

  2. David 09/22/2008 6:05 pm

    I do contract work for a small publishing company. I often will have to create an ad design for a company that wants to advertise in the publication. I created this one ad using the company’s specifications, but then turning around and putting more dynamic layout that catches your eyes better. They really liked that ad and indeed paid to have the run in our publication.

    About a month later, I was reading different locally produced publication and found an ad by that company with almost the exact same ad design (although I think mine was slightly better). I laughed because they took my ad and recreated with this month’s product in it. The things is, I was flattered. They liked my design. Since they paid for the ad, they were paying for the design too. Furthermore, there is a real need for companies to have a corporate identity. I remember doing print ads for another company to match the design of the television ad.

    There are instances where it is a complete rip. Luckily, this is not one of those cases. In your situation, you inspired a paying company. Good for you … put it in your resume and portfolio and maybe you will get an art director position one day.

  3. Maria 09/22/2008 1:53 pm

    Hrm. I don’t think that’s a rip I agree with other users. I do also think yours is pretty nifty looking.

    However I do have a question for the you (original poster). As a shop owner retailing products do you usually create your own advertising campaigns for the products you sell or do the vendors usually provide the marketing materials? It seems like it would be a gray area of who would own the rights to use the campaign afterwords.

  4. mere 09/21/2008 10:49 pm

    i actually like yours better! but no, i don’t think it’s a rip – i think it’s just a common visual. just as the anon. person mentioned, it reminds one of the iMac ads from a few years ago. great work though.

  5. M 09/21/2008 9:09 pm

    If only everyone in the world was as polite as van buren boy. The world would finally burn in flames.

  6. Anonymous 09/21/2008 3:33 pm

    Theirs looks like a wind turbine and yours is a flower… sorry, not even close.

  7. emp! 09/21/2008 9:37 am


  8. Anonymous 09/21/2008 8:13 am

    reminds me a lot of the original 5-colored imac commercial actually…

  9. SPARCS 09/21/2008 7:21 am

    hmm.. i think in this case it may be a matter, of what most people might want to do with long things of different colours…

    but not to take away from yours… nicely done

  10. Anonymous 09/21/2008 3:31 am

    inspiration? possibly.
    rip? no.

  11. mike 09/21/2008 1:45 am

    Hmmm…there’s some similarities, but i’m not sure it’s a rip. Yours appears to be a flower, but their site is showing some kind of pin-wheel. If they were doing a flower–that’d be a different story.

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