I realize the title I posted above, in this politically-correct day and age, is anything but politically correct. It has, however, entered our consciousness. And, to me at least, entered my store of stories about the industry.
I first heard "The Thief of Baghdad" applied to a writer many years ago. Naturally, it referred to his propensity to steal other people's work. As well as his ethnicity.
My friend, Sally Hogshead once said to me, "You have two things in this business. Your portfolio and your reputation."
As far as I'm concerned, if you're a creative and you steal other people's ideas, you are more than dead to me. You are burning eternally in the darkest corner of the rottenest meeting room.
In the pitch I'm engaged in, my partner and I quickly arrived at a place everyone loved. But of course, this being the era oppressive-non-hierarchal-everyone-has-an-opinion-and-the-right-to-say-something-democracy, the other creatives on the pitch were not dismissed or not reappointed to help me and my partner. Rather they were given time to take our work and smoosh just enough to "theirs."
I got news for you tattooed ladies and bearded men.
It ain't yours.
You stole from me.
I might not be able to do anything about it.
But I will never forget.