Sunday, November 11, 2007

Banned Ad

This advert, apparently for Lego and showing an image from the September 11 terrorist attacks, appeared online in late 2006, and was credited to Saatchi and Saatchi Guangzhou, China. However, the agency, which had subsequently been condemned across internet advertising forums, issued a statement to the website Ads of the World denying that it was responsible for the ad, which, it claimed, was entirely the work of two of its employees, both of whom had since been dismissed: Statement from Saatchi & Saatchi China: “I would like to call to your attention to clarify that the previous LEGO ads posted here did not come from Saatchi & Saatchi China. Lego is not our China client. The creation of these fake ads was purely personal behavior. Saatchi & Saatchi China ( the company, senior executives, and our creative directors) have never seen nor approved to run these ads. After indepth investigation, two staff have been dismissed today as their irresponsible personal behavior have severely affected our company's professional image. Their illegally using Saatchi & Saatchi's name, and the senior director's name behind those ads without our company's consent is an intolerable act. We, Saatchi & Saatchi, reserve the right to take legal action against these individuals." In addition to this statement, a letter was issued by two ex-Saatchi & Saatchi employees, Black Wu and Darrent Cheung, which admitted responsibility for the advert and apologized for the offense caused: “We would like to sincerely apologize to the whole world for posting some fake Lego ads that aroused a series of anxiety and disgust on internet.It was our personal trial to challenge creativity. We got so carried away that we came out with the stupidest idea that upset a broad audience. This was obviously done without the knowledge of any the Saatchi & Saatchi managers. We hope to express our deepest regret to the readers, to Saatchi & Saatchi China, and our most sincere apology to Lego, a deeply-respected brand in the world. We beg for your forgiveness for such naïve and irresponsible behaviour.”


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