July 15, 2008, - 2:21 pm

Advertising Agency Whores to Chi-Coms . . . & Chi-Coms’ Enemies

By Debbie Schlussel
I’ve long said on this site that it’s not just Hollywood that whores America out for the almighty dollar, but also Madison Avenue–the advertising industry.
Now, there’s quite a stark example, as advertising agency Omnicom Group Inc.’s TBWA Worldwide does ads both promoting and attacking the Chi-Coms on the occasion of the upcoming Beijing Summer Olympic Games.
The story exposes not just the whoredom of the morally bereft ad industry, but also the cowardice of Amnesty International, which originally contracted for the anti-China ads, then dumped them in favor of more pro-China ads. Would they do the same with their other frequent target, Israel? Don’t bet on it.
Anyway, here’s the hypocrisy in words and pictures:

olympicadschina.jpg

Whores: Same Ad Agency Does Pro- AND Anti-Chi-Comm Olympic Ads

In recent weeks, Omnicom Group Inc.’s TBWA Worldwide has been working on both sides of China’s global image. On behalf of sportswear maker Adidas AG, TBWA’s Beijing office has been running a campaign focused on Chinese pride, showing Chinese athletes supported by throngs of fans.
At the same time, the agency’s Paris office was working on another ad campaign on behalf of Amnesty International that showed Chinese athletes being tortured by Chinese authorities. In one of the print ads, a person has been attached to a target normally used in the shooting competition at the Games. At the bottom, it says, “After the Olympic Games, the fight for human rights must go on.”
Word of the human-rights campaign is now spreading through China, and TBWA and Amnesty International are disavowing the ads.
The stir comes at a delicate time for TBWA, which could face a backlash in China and was already competing for renewed business from Visa Inc., a major sponsor of the Games. It also makes TBWA the latest international marketer to run afoul of China’s complex political and social landscape. . . .
Amnesty’s London headquarters decided weeks ago to spike the ads from its Olympics campaign, which is focusing more on positive change that might come from the Games. “The result was not suitable for the messages we are trying to convey with our Olympics campaign,” said Amnesty spokeswoman Josefina Salomon.
But Amnesty still allowed TBWA to run the ads once so they could be entered into the Cannes competition. It won a bronze award.

What a fraud. Or rather, several frauds: Amnesty International pretending to be on the side of human rights, then rolling over for the Chi-Coms, allowing its ad agency to pretend it’s a real ad for a competition, and the agency pretending to be on both sides of the Chi-Coms.
More whores than the throngs working Detroit’s Eight Mile, except that the ones in advertising get paid far better rates, for what some might argue is far less service.

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2 Responses

There’s a new best-selling fiction book that features a ‘perception management’ firm. This firm does more than spin facts; according to the author they create facts and sell them as the truth. All the news media, including the internet are manipulated.
This is already happening in real life as this post points out, and it is a pathetic example of dumbing down of the population as a whole, that with the vast resources of the internet available, they get away with it.
Perceptions of Israel and China have been manipulated, but at least here, unlike in totalitarian societies, the truth is obtainable, although not easy to obtain. The most amazing perception is that varous politicians, including Sarkozy, are pro-Israel.

c f on July 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm

I don’t really expect much from the human right groups, who’ll be predictably silent now that Israel is releasing a Jew murderer named Samir Kuntar, who incidentally is set to get a hero’s welcome in Lebanon. And Israel’s submissive compliance to Hezbollah just made my skin crawl.

NormanF on July 15, 2008 at 7:47 pm

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