Always Crying: its a wrap!

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 These films are for internal use only, for us to understand the power of an idea and are not for publication.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.



6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Megan Cooke said,

    Thanks for the running update, I still find it very very hard to understand how anyone could even come up with an idea like this without thinking it would not be offensive (unless that was the original intention) or upsettings to some people.

    Either way, it’s all been tidied up and we can live happily every after…or until it happens again 🙂

    • 2

      janefae said,

      I’ll grant them some latitude…

      Once upon a time, i was in charge of a bloody big marketing budget (as a result of which you should have SEEN the bribes…er, sorry, incentives…that printers sent me every Xmas). I had this bright idea for a series of radio ads that would have sparked controversy. Yep: i think every marketing manager thinks that’s a good idea at some stage in their career.

      My own bright idea involved a series of quite near the knuckle ads featuring Lady Di and other assorted characters from current affairs.

      Thankfully, we never ran with them – even though we got as far as script stage. Why so thankful? Because had we run with the ads, we’d have had a campaign taking the piss out of Lady Di and her propensity for having car accidents (cause this was for Motor Insurance) in the very week that she had an exceptionally terminal motor accident…

      I suspect my job would not have survived that particular collission.


  2. 3

    Helen said,

    Jane, you’ve obviously done a fantastic amount of work on this – so thank you.

    However, it occurs to me that what Leo Burnett are basically saying is “yep, we made it but we don’t know how it’s got into the public domain”. Meanwhile P&G are saying they didn’t commission it. But both responses don’t stop the fact that the video is now in the public domain.

    Surely, if Leo Burnett value P&G’s business, then they should be doing something to remove it from the public domain. After all, it’s harming P&G’s brand – and you would have thought a leading marketing agency would not want to annoy one of their biggest customers. You would have thought that P&G would also want this pulled before it does any more damage…

    So a little more pressure on Leo Burnett, saying that many trans people and their associates, some of whom (myself included) do use the named P&G product, are angry and may look for alternatives, want this pulled from YouTube altogether – otherwise letters will be sent to P&G complaining that stuff which, after all, bears their brand is offensive.

    I would do the first myself, except that I’m thousands of miles away at the moment, and don’t know who to write to! I’m more than happy to do the second!

  3. 4

    […] put out a statement saying this is a spoof advert, while the production company have claimed it was an “internal use” advert that was never released. (I.e. not a […]

  4. 5

    […] edit, August 11, 2011: Many thanks to blogger Jane Fae, who phoned both P&G office and Leo Burnett UK, and received the following statement from a senior representative at Leo Burnett: “All creative […]

  5. 6

    […] Thompson · 6 Comments  [Update: It seems the viral video was either a spoof or a potential ad that Always decided not to run. We apologize to Always, but still find the ideas behind the […]

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