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Ford Dealership Steals Firewatch Art To Promote Sale

by Mike Futter on Jun 27, 2016 at 09:22 AM

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Campo Santo’s Firewatch falls into the sub-genre of adventure games known as “walking simulators.” During the game’s story, you explore the Wyoming wilderness on foot. At no point do you drive a Ford vehicle, which is what makes a new advertisement so strange.

You can see the original art above and the stolen version, used in an advertisement for Ford’s ‘Freedom’ event below via Twitter user @Panic.

Campo Santo’s Sean Vanaman took to Twitter to put a fine point on this, making it clear that Ford’s use of Firewatch art is unauthorized.

The studio doesn’t have a comment, but we reached Quirk Ford of Quincy, Massachusetts (the dealership responsible for the ad) to inquire about how this happened. We were directed to Sean Western in the auto group’s advertising department.

Before hanging up on us, Western admitted that the group has no copyright vetting or clearance process. I forwarded him both the ad image, which he admitted his company sent to a large number of potential customers in the area. I also sent the original, which Western says he did not recognize.

“I guess that whoever made the email blast must have grabbed it from the website or something,” he says. When asked what the process for sourcing artwork is, he hung up on me.

While this isn’t a national ad, it did go out to a large number of individuals. We’ll update should Campo Santo opt to make a more detailed statement.

Update: Western emailed to follow up saying that the art was taken from this site. "We always use DMCA compliant sites when getting images," he says. However, the link he referred us to merely offers up a way to file a DMCA complaint. It does not ensure that the site has no stolen imagery.

Update 2: Campo Santo's Sean Vanaman says that there's no way that the image came from the site Western claims (or any other wallpaper site). The image in question includes elements from the company's website that don't appear elsewhere.

[Source: Panic on Twitter]


Our Take
Don’t steal art, kids. That’s the road to legal trouble.