Losing the Cannes Ad Award

Cannes Advertising Festival this year has been somewhat turbulent. Saatchi & Saatchi got in to a scam scandal and Leo Burnett India submitted work for a client they didn’t even have, and won an award too..! To add to that, there was a huge uproar against the Amnesty International’s campaign against human rights violations in China. Created by TBWA Paris, the campaign shows torture taking place inside sporting facilities. The short copy reads: “After the Olympic Games, the fight for Human Rights must go on” and the campaign went on to win a bronze award.

Outraged by the campaign and the award, the Chinese media as well as pro-Chinese bloggers and internet users demanded the award be stripped-off, and the campaign taken off media. They also called for a boycott of all TBWA work, which happens to include one of the major sponsors of the Olympics this year, Visa.

Finally, the Chinese dream came true – at least in part.

TBWA has faltered, technically, and they bronze award was relinquished. Apparently, the campaign ran after the stipulated deadline – and it was disqualified.

At least someone is trying to protect the integrity of the advertising industry. I wonder if we would ever have the guts to recall an ad award here...

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