As many people have already seen this, here is an ITN news report showing the ad and discussing the reaction. The controversy continues to build.
The campaign is titled: ‘Olympic Games 2012: Homage to the Fallen and the Veterans of the Malvinas.’
The spot ends with the words: “To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil. In homage to the fallen soldiers and war veterans.”
It shows Argentina hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg running in the Falklands capital, Port Stanley, and exercising on the island’s Great War Memorial, which honours British sailors who died in the First World War.
Despite requests from WPP, the Government of Argentina has refused to bring the ad down. It has been reported Argentina’s foreign secretary Hector Timerman said: “”Britain’s defence minister [Phillip Hammond] demands, like a mighty knight, that Argentina expresses its regret for the creativity of an advert which sums up what we feel.
“He has still not explained what punishment he will select if we refuse to obey his demands. He ought to know the world is a safer place when you use creativity instead of bombing civilian populations in independent countries.”
The International Olympics Committee has denounced the ad, saying the Olympics should not be a fourm to raise political issues.
Far from political action, a number of “British response” ads are already posted on-line provoking some strong reactions on both sides.
The latest is that WPP’s Y&R network will make a contribution to war veterans’ charities in an attempt to compensate for the controversial spot created by its Buenos Aires office.
A different take on the power of advertising.