Not Happy Jan: The Yellow Pages Is Mad Because Darrell Lea Rebooted Its Classic Ad
"We believe it is right to protect this from being cheapened to sell chocolate."
Well, the Yellow Pages is not happy, Jan. They’ve just sent Darrell Lea a cease and desist letter after the delicious chocolatier launched an ad inspired by the iconic “not happy Jan” ad of yesteryear, featuring the cranky boss we all know and love.
The Darrell Lea ad, which will now sadly be pulled, was truly a masterful homage to the original Yellow Pages ad. It featured Deborah Kennedy reprising her role as a grumpy boss poring through the Yellow Pages, only to discover that Jan has forgotten to place an ad in the directory (the horror). The one difference from the original ad is that this time around, the boss has a packet of Darrell Lea chocolate on hand, which calms her down sufficiently to yell “no worries Jan!” out the window instead.
Actually, Jan is the name of the employee. The monster is Jan's boss, who is never happy
— Rob Stott (@Rob_Stott) May 30, 2019
A sweet homage to a classic Australian ad, some would say. According to Sensis (the Yellow Pages’ parent company), though, Jan and her boss have been “cheapened to sell chocolate” in an ultimate betrayal of Yellow Pages fans.
“To see the Yellow Pages brand, which is iconic and trusted by many Australians, and our beloved character Jan, used by another company for commercial gain is a total shock to us and our customers,” Yellow Pages’ executive general manager, James Ciuffetelli, told Mumbrella.
“This advert is so loved we feel we share it with the Australian people, and we believe it is right to protect this from being cheapened to sell chocolate.”
Omg ‘Not Happy Jan!’ is back?!
— Kate Pattison (@katepatto) May 29, 2019
The Australian people don’t seem to feel the same way, though — mostly, people seem delighted to see how Jan and her boss are doing after all these years. And as it turns out, they’re doing pretty great — the Darrell Lea ad reveals that the pair have aged extraordinarily well.
I mean, the original ad aired in the year 2000, and nearly two decades later Deborah Kennedy looks almost exactly the same. Unlike the Yellow Pages.
Anyway, Darrell Lea has agreed to pull the ad, but for the time being you can still see it (and the original) below.