The chocolate company has been slapped with a cease and desist notice from Sensis, the Yellow Pages’ parent company over the use of the character from the famous ‘Not Happy Jan’ ad.
The Yellow Pages’ TV ad, which aired extensively on Australian television in the late 1990s, featured a furious manager yelling the now famous line, “Not happy, Jan” out the window at a retreating employee after realising their business ad had not been placed in the Yellow Pages.
Darrell Lea’s ad follows the same storyline, except the manager — who appears to be played by the same actress — reaches for a block of chocolate, calms down and instead yells “No worries, Jan” out the window.
You can watch the two advertisements here to see for yourself:
Yellow Pages’ executive general manager James Ciuffetelli told Mumbrella it was in “total shock” to see its “beloved character Jan” being used by Darrell Lea.
“We are flattered that Darrell Lea has used our iconic Yellow Pages advertising, featuring ‘Not Happy Jan’. However, it has been used without our consultation or approval,” Mr Ciuffetelli said.
“By imitating our ad, we believe it is misleading to consumers. It’s clear on social media that a number of people believe Yellow Pages has endorsed this campaign, which is not the case.”
Despite this Darrell Lea’s advertisement has been met with a mostly positive reception from nostalgic consumers on social media.
“So funny, as many young people wouldn’t know about a telephone directory,” one person wrote on Facebook.
“When I saw it last night, I thought it was the original ad,” another wrote.
News.com.au has contacted Darrell Lea for comment.