Flickr Becomes Free Stock House

You know how credit is never given in an ad? Well, no more. The above print ad from Virgin Mobile gives credit to the photographer, which is especially nice since Virgin did not pay for the image. Their agency found it on Flickr and published it under a Creative Commons license.
While this is an interesting idea, there are a few problems with it. One, neither the models nor the phtotographers were contacted, thus no consent was expressly given. As far as the photographer goes, it may be okay since their rights are detailed under the Creative Commons license that they themselves chose to use. But the subjects in the photos are another story.
Here’s the Flickr discussion string on the subject.
[via Diablogue]

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. It appears to be an Australian ad (.au gave it away, lol)
    So these things may be different under Australian law (insert kangaroo court joke here) than under US law.

  2. Actually this is quite poetic given the headline.
    Why couldn’t have Virgin sent the guy an e. and let him know. I’m sure Richard Branson has a spare hot air balloon somewhere that could be e-bayed to pay for lots of amateur photographs.
    I am loving Flick more and more each day,
    But I title all my images with my name and © info.
    It just keeps the honest people honest. I do think art should be free for everyone to look at but not to capitalize on.
    Who knows maybe it will work out great for both and the controversy will have a synergistic effect. Unfortunately my grocer can’t put good publicity in the till.

  3. This is one of many posters, billboards and online photographs from Virgin Mobile Australia using work from Flickr. It seems that a cheap advertising campaign was needed to promote cheap texting and cheap talk.

  4. If you take the world famous Virgin logo and turn it slighty to the left so that where the underline and tail of the g form an X,you’ll also notice the V forms a slightly hidden S and the i,r and part of the g form a broken capital E,spelling the word SEX. So you have Sex/Virgin in one word.
    Very subliminally clever Mr.Branson.