Uh oh – Malaysian-based Medical Tourism Association is the latest in the firing line from UK advertising watchdog ASA with its latest poster campaign having been banned for “trivialising” cosmetic surgery.
The ad in question (see below) had been displayed in motorway service stations and shopping centres across the UK – it basically encourages tourists to fly to Malaysia for breast enhancement surgery and highlights the point that “‘Boob job’ is the most popular cosmetic procedure for women”.
The ad also states that “Malaysia is proud to be amongst one of the only countries within the region where medical tourism is promoted by the government. Hence medical tourists can have the assurance of quality care and be guided by the regulation, safety standards and the governing laws within this industry. Our private hospitals bagged three out of nine awards at the international Medical Travel Awards 2014.”
Uh-oh… It seems that illustrations of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl that was shot by the Taliban, recovered and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, did not go down well in mattress brand Kurl-On’s latest poster campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather.
The campaign, from Ogilvy’s Indian office, depicts cartoon drawings of Yousafzai being shot in the head, before falling onto a mattress, bouncing up again and receiving an award. Eek!
Luckily Ogilvy & Mather took to social media to apologise for the “incident”:
“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 apologies 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.”
After the recent Twitter debacles from British Gas and Guinness (both covered in Cream - click here for British Gas and here for Guinness), you'd think more big firms would be steering clear of going too crazy with social media campaigns in which the public are invited to interact. However, banking giant JP Morgan decided that it would be a good idea to take to Twitter with the hashtag '#askjpm' on Wednesday morning and, alas, the Twittersphere decided to create a backlash (as reported on M&M Global).
It's a familiar story of recent and one that media folk at JP Morgan surely should have expected, but, clearly, they've not learned from the mistakes of those before them whatsoever. Check out some of the highlights below.
All of this does beg the question why JP Morgan thought this would be a good idea. Certain companies must realise that they're not the most popular on Earth. One would think that particularly multinational financial institutions, whose recent press has all been of a nature relating to the fecklessness of their staff in trading rooms and their profligate lending causing housing foreclosures the world over, would have an idea. Surely opening themselves up to Twitter and asking members of a global general public still reeling from their actions/attempting to move on with bitter tastes in their mouths was never going to be the best idea and would only end one way?
Maybe JP Morgan genuinely believed that people would want to engage with their little game of social networking face-saving. If they did, they've been at best naive and at worst stupidly complacent. In any case, one suspects they shan't be entering into anything similar any time soon.
The UK media has been dominated by news of a TV commercial sponsored by the government of Argentina that sees members of the Argentine Olympic team training on the Falklands.
"To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil."
For readers outside the UK, many of whom will have little idea where the Falkland Islands are, or the sensitivities that surround the governance of the Islands. The spot, which was apprently filmed in secret, sees an Argentinian athlete running past various landmarks in the capital city Port Stanley. One particular sequence that has caused particular ire is a scene that shows one athlete performing step-ups on a memorial for British servicemen who died in the 1981 conflict.
The spot, filmed by Y&R, has even come under fire from WPP Chairman Sir Martin Sorrell, who has been quoted as being "appalled and embarassed."
Some commentators have written off the film as a desperate attempt to stir-up a patriotic by President Kirchner using the highly visible platform of the Olympics. Despite the many laws and statute that exist to protect the sporting purity of the games, there are always some adverts that cause trouble...
Spain upsets the Chinese
Ads for the 2008 Beijing games appeared in a Spanish sporting newspaper depicted the national basketball team posing in their official kit, pulling 'slanty eye' faces to the camera. The IOC were not impressed.
Nike upsets the athletes
Atlanta, 1996, and Nike puts a foot in it with a billboard that bears the slogan: "You don't win silver, you lose gold," which attracted complaints from bronze and silver medal winners from previous games.
Nike upsets the children
The 2000 Olympics in Sydney saw U.S Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton appear in a controversial TV spot for Nike that saw her tackle a chainsaw-wielding maniac in slasher-movie style. The ad's punchline, "why sport? You'll live longer" failed to turn the scary ad into the joke in which it was intended.
Reebok doesn't upset anyone, but backs the wrong man
Reebok spent millions on an ad campaign (Dan & Dave) that championed the athletes Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson ahead of the 1992 Barcelona games. The two American decathletes were expected to perform well but O’Brien, who held a world record in the sport, failed spectacularly when he was unable to clear the pole vault. He scored zero points for the event and failed to qualify for Barcelona.
I realise this title looks like I've just thrown some unrelated words together, but it actually refers to a marketing campaign for a plastic surgeon that has come under fire in the US. Dr Michael Salzhauer of Bal Harbour Surgery in Florida has commissioned a pop song called 'Jewcan Sam' from a band called The Groggers.
Discovery of a naked man at an inconvenient moment is a situation that most of us, if we're really honest, have been confronted with at some point in our lives. An unplanned naked male can pose a number of difficulties in the home, the office and at some (but not all) social occasions. They can also be especially troublesome when you're shooting an advert. Especially when the ad is for children's clothing.
Pity then, the poor marketing manager at La Redoute who (hopefully) inadvertently passed this image to appear on the clothing company's online shop.
My French is a little rusty but I expect the hastily issued apology on La Redoute's Facebook page: "“Nous allons renforcer le processus de validation de l’ensemble des communications de la marque pour que cela ne puisse se reproduire à l’avenir", roughly translates as "whoops, sorry". I expect it help drive traffic to the site though.
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