06 September 2009
Truth Surfaces When Awards Entries Are Discovered Online - DDB Brasil ad for WWF banned from One Show
DDB Brasil has already been stripped of its One Show Merit award. The negative buzz is enormous ...
• DDB Brasil Did Make Video Version of Reviled WWF Ad -- and Submitted It to Cannes
• In Wake of DDB Brasil Scandal, One Show to Ban Scam-Ad Creators for Five Years
A summary from AdAge:
In a bold, unprecedented move to stem the problem of scam ads in advertising awards shows, the One Club is implementing strict new rules that ban agencies -- and individual members of creative teams -- found guilty of making fake ads for a period of five years.
The move is in response to one of the most public and offensive cases of fakery in recent memory, the "Tsunami" ad DDB Brasil made for the World Wildlife Fund in Brazil. The widely condemned ad picked up a since-stripped One Show award and also was entered in the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in June.
After initially lying about it, DDB Brasil now admits it created a video version of the Brazilian print ad "Tsunami," which has caused a scandal this week -- and entered both ads in the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in June.
Previously DDB Brasil had said the print ad ran only once in Sao Paulo and was mistakenly entered in the One Show. An agency spokeswoman said neither the agency nor the client, the World Wildlife Fund in Brazil, authorized the video version, called "Planes," that surfaced on the internet this week showing multiple planes approaching Manhattan and the World Trade Center towers.
The description of the ad submitted by the agency said "We see two airplanes blowing up the WTC's Twin Towers...lettering reminds us that the tsunami killed 100 times more people. The film asks us to respect a planet that is brutally powerful."
"When I first saw the ad I was disgusted by it," said a One Show juror who did not wish to be named and claimed to be unaware that the ad had been selected to win a Merit award. "Perhaps American judges are much more affected by this disaster than judges from other countries," the juror said, noting that ads can receive low marks from a majority of the jury and still wind up receiving an honor. "But there really is no excuse for this, and if it was created to win an award then shame on them. It really puts a dark cloud over agencies that are trying to do cut-through work for the right reasons."
The "Tsunami" ad surfaced first on the blog Ads of the World, and DDB Brasil speculated that the blogger had picked it up from the One Show site. However, Ivan Raszl, who posted the work on the blog, said he'd received it as part of a DDB press release. The work was also sent to Ad Age this week by DDB Brasil's PR department, which regularly sends new work to journalists and apparently blasted out the WWF ad by mistake.
Meanwhile, the WWF-U.S. issued yet another statement, following a joint statement yesterday by WWF in Brazil and DDB Brasil apologizing for any offense caused by the ad.
"WWF Brazil has subsequently issued statements that have raised doubts about whether the ad concept was approved at some level within the WWF Brazil organization," the WWF-U.S. statement said. "We have now relaunched a renewed inquiry into the circumstance surrounding the creation of the ad. Additionally, we are using every resource at our disposal to remove these images everywhere they exist online because they are hurtful and disrespectful to the victims of 9/11 and their families."
As far as the Cannes entry goes, this year's film jury president David Lubars said that if the ad was indeed entered in Cannes, he personally "didn't see it."
"It must've been eliminated in the very first round, which the jury president doesn't participate in," said Mr. Lubars, chairman-chief creative officer of BBDO North America. "I assume it was eliminated either because it smacked of the worst kind of fakery or just its overall disgustingness."