Dear Micky Flanagan,
Dear Micky, (and your agents)
I recently noticed that the telecoms company ‘EE’ used the phrase ‘out out’ in one of their recent adverts.
I was wondering whether you had begun a claim with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), especially as you had one claim in 2009 that 118 118 were using your catch phrase.
Despite the ASA upholding your claim, I understand you did not pursue 118 118 further as attribution of the origin of a ‘joke/phrase’ is challenging to prove.
As much as you didn’t mind sharing such a cheeky line back then, times change.
Since that time you’ve invested heavily in the catch phrase ‘out-out’ as part of your routine since, including having the phrase as the name of a tour/dvd.
With this in mind, I thought you may be interested in some research we have conducted on your behalf (conducted January 2018).
A survey of 100 United Kingdom residents provided the result of over 85% of respondents associating the phrase ‘out out’ with yourself.
As I’m sure you appreciate, the psychological technique (as used by EE) of attempting to trigger an association in the mind of an audience member through carefully chosen language is an ancient tool, but seems not to be justified without compensation in this case.
The question for artists is whether the origin of a joke/catchphrase can be:
a) better attributed at source using the latest technology moving forward, and b) where an individual ‘becomes known’ for a joke/phrase that is then used by a 3rd party, how they can be fairly compensated.
I’m writing a book about comedy and Artificial Intelligence, and would appreciate chatting about how your case could help other artists from being ripped off in the future.
I am available at firstname.lastname@example.org