Imported from Munich?
A new Audi video for the 2012 A6 Avant features the vehicle driving through the dark streets of the German city as a guitar riffs in the background. The camera pans the passing cityscape, zooms in on various features on the car and flashes to the stern-looking driver.
Many observers, including the rapper Eminem, think the spot is a knockoff of Chrysler Group's now famous "Imported From Detroit" ad, Automotive News reports today.
Eight Mile Style, the company that is responsible for licensing Eminem's songs, has filed a cease-and-desist lawsuit against Audi in the Hamburg regional court in Germany, claiming that the Audi commercial uses a version of Eminem's "Lose Yourself" -- the song used in Chrysler's highly acclaimed Super Bowl spot -- without permission.
"It is absolutely shocking," Joel Martin, manager of Eight Mile Style, said in a statement. "We believe Audi not only used 'Lose Yourself' to sell their product without permission, but their spot actually feels inspired by elements of Chrysler's commercial campaign."
A German lawyer representing Eight Mile Style said in the statement that along with a cease-and-desist order, the group would seek damages from Audi.
The commercial debuted at a May 18 press event in Berlin that introduced the A6 Avant. The commercial hasn't aired in the U.S., but it has been uploaded to YouTube several times and has over 70,000 views.
Audi has no plans to sell the car in the U.S., an Audi spokesman said.
Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri wrote in an email that Chrysler knew about the Audi spot, but it isn't a party to the Eight Mile Style suit.
"Apparently someone believes that the definition of copyright laws is the right to copy other's materials," Mr. Ranieri wrote, "including world-renowned successes created by Chrysler Group's brands."
Here are the two spots. What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.
Joseph Lichterman writes for Automotive News.