There Will Be A Reckoning…

I didn’t think I’d live to see the day, but it looks like the times, they are a-changing…

You may have heard about the debacle that took place last week surrounding the fake Tsunami ad created by DDB Brasil (on behalf of an unaware WWF). In case you missed it, here’s what caused all the fuss:

COPY LINE: The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.

COPY LINE: The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.

Tasteless as all hell, especially when one considers tomorrow marks the anniversary of this tragic event. Interestingly, the damned thing still won an award albeit of merit (says a lot about the bloody judges), which was stripped in the ensuing bunfight.

Anyway, I expected it to be another one of those storm-in-a-teacup type issues – toothless watchdogs making all the right noises viz. being outraged but nothing actually being done about the situation.

So imagine my surprise when the guys over at the One Club (the champions of excellence in advertising and hosts of the prestigious One Show awards) decided to take a hard line on this kind of BS, to wit:

For 2010 and onwards, the One Show will be adopting the following new rules and penalties.

1. An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad made for nonexistent clients, or made and run without a client’s approval, will be banned from entering the One Show for 5 years.

2. The entire team credited on the “fake” entries will be banned from entering the One Show for 5 years.

3. An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad that has run once, on late night TV, or has only run because the agency produced a single ad and paid to run it themselves*, will be banned from entering The One Show for 3 years.

* The One Club reserves the right to review ‘late-night, ran-once’ and launch versions, at The One Club’s discretion. If it is determined that the ad was created expressly for award show entry, the penalty will hold.

BRAVO!! You guys totally have my vote. Advertising that will only be judged if it’s been sanctioned as part of a legitimate campaign? It’s so crazy it just might work. Here’s hoping this way of thinking filters down through the industry on a global level. It’s not yet results-based awards, but it’s a step in the right direction.

PS: In a startling display of scraping the bottom of the insensitivity barrel, DDB Brasil actually produced a video version of the print ad for Cannes. Submitted below for your consideration.

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