Ford Dealership Uses Firewatch Art To Advertise Sale

A Ford car dealership in Quincy, Massachusetts used art from the hit indie game Firewatch in a recent advertisement, displaying the game's signature mountain panorama in an email blast sent to customers about a new sale today. Kotaku reader asmallcat forwarded us an email of the ad, which clearly uses art from the game. Olly Moss, Firewatch's artist, told us today that he did not give the dealership permission to use his art. Designer Sean Vanaman also tweeted his distaste for Ford's alleged copyright infringement.

The Ford advertisement sent by asmallcat

An image from Firewatch for comparison

When reached by Kotaku, the Ford dealership said they didn't know what we were talking about. A representative for Ford's national branch told us that they're looking into this. In an email to Game Informer earlier today, Quincy Ford's director of marketing Sean Western said that his group had found this art on the website


    Hahahaha they found the wallpaper on a .info site? Of course it's going to be 100% legitimate…

    One man's/woman's fault and it's the company's fault now.

    That's like blaming sony records for michael jackson's pedophile accusations.

      That's a fine way to look at it and all....

      But lets be serious, if the roles where reversed, Ford would decimate a company that used it's IP, the fact that it was ones persons mistake would be irrelevant.

    "We found this art on a random website so it must be fine for us to use as we wish"

    Yep, great thinking there.

    It's a $65B global corporation. There are standards for media communication. They're big enough to be held accountable for not providing dealerships/franchisees with the necessary marketing materials to stay on-brand AND avoid legal issues.

    Large, global corporations set guidelines to ensure that their marketing departments don't source their material from bastions of adherence to creative licensing like

    Still... Violation of IP rights is only bad when consumers do it, right boys?

    Last edited 28/06/16 10:01 am

      Well, it isn't a $65B global corporation here: it's one car dealership that buys their product from a $65B global corporation.

      Still, you'd expect them to check the licensing on images they find on the Internet: especially if they're going to be used in a marketing campaign.

        That's why I said that the corporation (who the dealership deals for) provides dealerships/franchisees with the necessary marketing materials to stay on-brand AND avoid legal issues.

          Car dealerships usually have a lot more autonomy than e.g. a McDonalds franchisee. In the US, the laws covering dealerships are set up in a way to protect the dealers from the manufacturers (e.g. preventing Tesla from running its own bricks and mortar direct sales stores), so you don't get the same top down management as for other franchises.

            Sure. But the support and the materials are going to be there so that they don't need to do stupid shit like this.

    This makes me irrationally angry and I sincerely hope that the Firewatch devs get what they find to be a suitable compensation or resolution to the issue.

    Copyright infringement is shitty

    I read a website called clients from hell (.net), there are so many stories of the client saying just go get the image off the Googles, that way we can save money and the designer explaining they need to pay for things. I guess sometimes the designer doesn't realise where the image is from or doesn't care.

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