TBWA pulls Trump/Verwoerd campaign, hands back Loerie
by Herman Manson (@marklives) TBWA\Hunt Lascaris has issued a statement acknowledging it inadvertently misquoted apartheid prime minister, Dr HF Verwoerd, and current US president, Donald J Trump, in a Gold Loeries award-winning radio ad produced for the Apartheid Museum (see #Loeries2018 controversy over TBWA’s Apartheid Museum ad). The agency says “7 of the 27 quotes it used in the campaign appear to be in question as to their true authenticity.”
Sean Donovan, TBWA CEO apologised for the campaign. “We always apply in-depth research and fact-checking in all our work, and it was certainly never our intention to attribute the wrong quotes to anyone. For that we unreservedly apologise. But the lesson is certainly that even trusted sources need to be questioned.”
The agency also announced that the campaign has been pulled and that it would be handing back the Loerie award it had won.
Full statement by TBWA Hunt Lascaris
TBWA Hunt Lascaris statement on sources used in “Past and Present” Campaign
Johannesburg – 24 August 2018 – TBWA Hunt Lascaris confirms that it inadvertently took some of the sources believed to be trustworthy and used them in its recent award-winning “Past and Present” campaign at face value and should have dug deeper.
The company’s internal investigations in which all sources were submitted for further verification revealed that 7 of the 27 quotes it used in the campaign appear to be in question as to their true authenticity.
The campaign, which is no longer on the airwaves, was a three-part series for the Apartheid Museum which compared the quotes of famous people in history. The campaign juxtaposing Verwoerd and Trump won an award at The Loeries Awards a week ago.
The campaign drew attention to a message which remains highly relevant – the uncannily similar quotes made by apartheid architect Dr HF Verwoerd and US President Donald Trump.
“We always apply in-depth research and fact-checking in all our work and it was certainly never our intention to attribute the wrong quotes to anyone. For that we unreservedly apologise. But the lesson is certainly that even trusted sources need to be questioned,” says TBWA CEO Sean Donovan.
The four questionable sources were from a purported speech, a book which is currently in circulation and a major international newspaper specifically the New York Times.
“We certainly apologise for taking those sources at face value and had no malicious intent to misrepresent the facts. We trusted them and had no reason to doubt that the sentiments being expressed were not those of either Verwoerd or Trump,” he says.
TBWA is in communication with The Loeries and has provided full details of their investigation. As a proactive measure and to ensure the integrity of the Apartheid Museum, the agency has pulled the campaign and will be handing the award back.
Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of MarkLives.com.
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