Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) September 08, 2009 -- When a DDB Brasil video advert suddenly appeared on the Internet, a storm of controversy erupted. The ad had been an entrant in the âpress and filmâ categories, at Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
The advertisement opened with a shot of the Twin Towers on fire on 9/11. This was rapidly followed by numbers of planes plummeting towards Manhattan and the World Trade Centre Twin Towers.
The point of the advertisement was to show a Tsunami in 2005, which killed 280,000 people. This was 'ten times more than were killed in 9/11'.
"Our planet is cruelly influential. Respect it, Conserve it", read the ad. It had allegedly been created for the World Wildlife Foundation.
At first DDB Brasil adamantly denied having created the advert. Later however, they admitted it was a video version of their Brazilian print ad 'Tsunami'. The advert gained little attention at Cannes, though both the video and printed ad were later withdrawn.
The print version won a Merit Award, which is one inferior than a Bronze prize. The prize was withdrawn also.
WWF condemned the advert, saying the video had been created on spec and was unapproved. WWF-U.S. apologized for any hurt caused by the advert.
This is not the first contentious advert to appear, involving the Twin Towers. In 1979, an ad by Pakistani International Airlines showed the shadow of a commercial aircraft superimposed across the World Trade Centre Twin Towers.
A Sesame Street magazine cover in 1976 portrayed a Sesame Street monster on the loose, taking large bites out of the Twin Towers.
In 1981 an Asbestos advert showing the Twin Towers read 'when the fire alarm went off it took two hours to evacuate New Yorkâs World Trade Centre'.
While the making of these adverts were blameless at the time, in retrospect they too could cause a storm of controversy and grief to the families of those killed in the 9/11 tragedy.
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