Our attention has been drawn to a claim by Ugandan artist Eddie Kenzo (appearing in sections of Uganda print media) alleging that there has been infringement of his Intellectual Property rights by the use of his copyrighted video in a TV Commercial (advert) currently running in Ugandan media under the ‘A Billion Reasons to Believe’ campaign.
With due cognizance to the legal process being canvassed in parallel, we take this opportunity to set the record straight in order to protect our reputation for the sake of our consumers and stakeholders:
- While the legal demand by the artist’s representatives has been addressed to Century Bottling Company, The Coca-Cola Company’s authorized bottler in Uganda, Century Bottling is in no way involved with the campaign.
- Coca-Cola Central, East & West Africa Limited, contracted Ogilvy Africa Limited (“the Agency”), to oversee the production of the ‘A Billion Reasons To Believe’ TV Commercial in Uganda.
- The Agency identified footage on YouTube that could be used as part of the TV commercial and as required, conducted its due diligence to confirm the ownership thereof. The Agency confirmed that the footage, which features five children dancing on a street, was owned by Mr. Dauda Kavuma, a Ugandan national, and founder of Triplets Foundation, who had in fact posted the video on YouTube.
- Kavuma entered into an agreement with the Agency for usage of the footage for both TV and digital media. In addition, the agency obtained the consent of each parent through written agreement.
- The Video which Mr. Kenzo alleges infringement of was not used in any way by the Agency in producing the “A Billion Reasons to Believe” commercial.
- On the basis of the foregoing, we contend that no infringement of the Artist’s Intellectual Property Rights to the ‘Sitya Loss’ music video has occurred as alleged .
- Coca-Cola Central East and West Africa Limited and its affiliates uphold the utmost professional integrity, respect and fairness with respect to the materials used and artists engaged in the production of marketing materials, and holds its agencies to the same standards.