RED BANK: ARTIST v. BUD OVER VANILLA ICE

vanilla ice kusaA screengrab from KUSA-TV’s report Tuesday showing Vanilla Ice in an ice cream truck of Ben Douglass’ design. Below, a detail of Douglass’ drawing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

douglass vanilla iceA Red Bank graphic artist was frosted this week to learn that that the makers of Bud Light used his work without permission at a marketing event featuring rapper Vanilla Ice.

Ben Douglass, art director at the Broad Street design shop Spitball Advertising, said freelance t-shirt artwork he did depicting a fictional “Vanilla Ice Ice Cream Truck” was transformed into an actual ice cream truck used by the beer maker at its “Whatever, USA” event in Crested Butte, Colorado last weekend.

After Douglass accused Anheuser-Busch, on Facebook page and Twitter, of stealing his work, the claim went viral, gaining thousands of shares and comments, many in support of artists citing widespread theft of copyrighted work. It also got attracted a television newscast in Crested Butte as well as pixelated ink on Fortune.com.

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