You may have seen this on other blogs in the last day or so, a print ad apparently for the WWF out of Brazil. It is beyond tasteless. I wasn’t going to comment on it, but then our tipline made it clear that a video spot was also produced.
The caption in the upper right reads: “The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.” The ad first starting becoming well known when it won the best of 2009 award at www.oneclub.org, which apparently promotes excellence in advertising. (UPDATE: it appears the ad award has been removed from this website but here is a screencap.)
But World Wildlife Fund is rejecting the ad, saying it was released without authorization by the Brazilian Ad agency DDB Brazil (www.ddb.com).
WWF condemned it, saying it was “categorically not solicited nor endorsed” by the organization. Looking at their main website though, http://www.panda.org/ you’d never know they are condemning this ad. The other WWF website does mention it here. Now according to Adfreak, they are accepting “joint blame” for the print ad.
But given the existence of this video, it appears they approved at least a production budget. The video is professionally done with top of the line CGI. It’s not some “rogue” that did this on a shoestring budget.
The video spot showing 2 planes flying into the twin towers, followed by even more, is probably the most tasteless and stupid environmental advertisement I’ve ever seen. If the goal was to shock people, it worked. But I doubt the shock effect is positive for WWF. What it does is piss people off.
Watch the video and see what I mean.
UPDATE: it appears DDB/WWF has made a DMCA complaint with YouTube. I expect DeSmog Blog’s Kevin Grandia and Climate Progress’ Joe Romm to express shock and outrage any minute now.
Alternate source to the video can be found here. http://creativity-online.com/work/wwf-tsunami-%28tvc%29/17193
In my opinion, it boggles the mind that anyone or any organization could be so dense as to not predict the public reaction to such a print ad, much less a video. I don’t care how noble you think your cause is, this hijacking of an American tragedy for earth awareness, is not only callous and insulting to the thousands of families affected by this tragedy, but it is probably the single most disgusting and stupid application of eco advertising I’ve ever witnessed.
The WWF initial “denial” of association with this ad just isn’t credible and is falling apart. Have you no shame?
From Hot Air:
WWF is finally admitting that they did play some role in approving the print spot, issuing a joint statement with the ad agency, DDB, that “the inexperience of some professionals on both sides” is to blame. And yet:
Sergio Valente, president of DDB Brasil, said the ad was presented to the WWF in Brazil in December 2008 and approved; it then ran once in a small local paper.
“When I saw it, I said, ‘Stop running that ad,’” Mr. Valente said…
A DDB Brasil spokesperson in Sao Paulo said a video version of the ad being circulated on the internet was not done or authorized by the agency or the client. She said DDB execs first saw the video, which features slightly different copy, on the internet and don’t know who created it.
Really? So some wily amateur video producer out there happened to stumble across a print ad that only ran once in South America and was so taken with it that he churned out a slick animated version on his own dime? Humor me for a moment and assume that this is, in fact, the handiwork of DDB. If so, exactly how many “inexperienced professionals” contributed to — and approved — the spot?
This spot comes from an ad agency employed by the same people that say “We Need a New Global Climate Deal“. Good luck with that, with this revelation, you’ve just committed global stupicide.
h/t to WUWT reader Corey