Apple has run into hot water over is latest advertising campaign to promote its new iPod video MP3 player. According to shoe manufacturer Lugz, the advert is a direct rip-off of a previous advert for them promoting its shoe range shown in 2002.

On Friday, Lugz issued a cease and desist letter to Apple and its ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day.

If Apple does not comply, "we will take whatever legal action is necessary to protect our rights", Lugz executive vice president Larry Schwartz told the New York Daily News newspaper.

Lugz claims Apple's current iPod ad, which uses a silhouette of Eminem against a comparable multicolored urban setting, is remarkably similar to an advert they previously used.

"All you have have to do is watch the commercials", Schwartz told the News. "It's clearly an unfair use of our creative and intellectual property".

The ad in question is supposed to be the next step on from the simple silhouette images made iconic by Apple over the last couple of years and features a silhouette wandering through an urban environment and with the dominant colours being red, orange, yellow and black. In the Lugz advert a similar silhouette walks through an urban environment with with the dominant colours being red, orange, yellow and black being followed by a ribboned arrow.

You can view the Lugz ad


(click on Archive, then Lugz, then 01) and Apple's version