On Monday, I blogged about this really distasteful "borrowed interest" of Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai's near-fatal shooting and recovery to sell mattresses in India.
A couple of days later, the whole campaign disappeared from Ads Of The World. But it was too late. The PR damage to Ogilvy, India, was apparently already done.
Just now, on Twitter:
We would like to apologize to Malala Yousafzai and her family. Our official statement can be found here. http://t.co/DgGPz6gK33
— Ogilvy & Mather (@Ogilvy) May 15, 2014
Here's the statement:
The recent Kurl-On ads from our India office are contrary to the beliefs and professional standards of Ogilvy & Mather and our clients.
We deeply regret this incident and want to personally apologize to Malala Yousafzai and her family. We are investigating how our standards were compromised in this case and will take whatever corrective action is necessary. In addition, we have launched a thorough review of our approval and oversight processes across our global network to help ensure that our standards are never compromised again.It's just one more example of how global brands (including ad agency ones) are exposed to risk when regional partners do something that contravenes the sensibilities of the internet. More strategic and creative oversight is clearly needed.