An Hour Went BY--Must Be WWF DDB 9/11 Ad Update Time
He-said, she-said now officially out of control as ad blogs jockey for credit on who broke what when. Read the latest update that includes the statement from WWF on AdWeek. Plus, check out Ad Age's article with a great response from Ken Wheaton in the comments.
We're confusing the issue here by focusing just on timelines though, or DDB and their creatives, or what WWF knew and what they knew and when they didn't know it. There are a lot of factors at work. (Blaming creatives who support scam is like, well, pick your metaphor: A shark for being a shark, a perv for hanging around MySpace, etc.)
The system is broke.
At the risk of playing off the ad's theme, the award shows are ALL flying under the radar here and escaping blame. The response by the One Show regarding the possible censoring of artwork conveniently frames the debate as a free speech issue. That's fine if we're talking about an artist being banned.
But this is advertising. As such, it DOES have to adhere to certain standards, legal and otherwise. Things are different in other cultures, I get that. What offends us may not offend others, and vice-versa.
But we don't have the luxury of saying whatever we want here, regardless of what other countries do. (Just look at own regulations regarding the seven words you can't say on TV, let alone controversial themes that advertisers shy away from.)
The responses in the Ad Age piece highlights part of the problem. They range from hate all the way to kudos for producing such thought-provoking work. The latter attitude however, will continue to perpetuate the problem: Get attention at all costs.
If you really look closer at that rational though, why would you bury such thought-provoking work in the back pages of a single publication (and then later in the safety of an award show environment). So much for that excuse.
This was the opposite. This was another agency burying work somewhere to qualify on a technicality, hoping nobody saw it so they could win an award. You wanna be really brave?
I'll be the first to give you kudos if you ran it in NYC during primetime.