I now have the final piece that completes the set: an official statement from a senior representative of Leo Burnett.
They write tonight to tell me:
“All creative agencies will look at different creative ideas to push boundaries and engage consumers. We will occasionally make test films to try and bring an idea to life without a request from the client. These films are for internal use only, for us to understand the power of an idea and are not for publication. This creative was never commissioned nor approved by P&G. We regret this has been made public without our approval or authorization and apologise for any offence caused.”
Or to put it another way: they looked at the ad in question as a possible approach. Decided it was a non-runner. And canned it.
They confirm that P&G did not commission the work, which is consistent with P&G’s statement, leaving only the slightly intriguing question of how and why the ad finally made it into the public domain.
I am sure there is much room for speculation on that aspect of this episode, but please do it elsewhere: I am not going to do so on this blog. And any comments that do so in an overt or potentially libellous fashion will be removed.
It has been an interesting day.