Loeries strips TBWA’s awards for Apartheid Museum
by MarkLives (@marklives) The Loeries has decided that all work entered by TBWA\Hunt Lascaris for the Apartheid Museum in this year’s awards be disqualified, including the full “Past and Present” campaign, as well as a separate campaign titled, “The Old South Africa Flag.”
All awards — a Gold Loerie, Silver Loerie, Bronze Loerie, and Craft Certificate, as well as all finalists — received by TBWA\ Hunt Lascaris for its work done for the Apartheid Museum have been revoked.
TBWA\Hunt Lascaris had already decided to hand back the Gold, Silwer and Craft Loeries* it received for the “Past and Present” campaign, after it misquoted apartheid prime minister, Dr HF Verwoerd, and current US president, Donald J Trump, in a radio ad done as part of the campaign. At the time, the agency said “[seven] of the 27 quotes it used in the campaign appear to be in question as to their true authenticity.”
The Loeries Official Rankings are impacted by the disqualification of these entries. TBWA\Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg falls off the Top 3 ranking for Agency of the Year. Joe Public remains in first place, followed by Impact BBDO Dubai in second, then King James Group in third. The TBWA\ group remains in first place for the Regional Agency Group of the Year, through the collective contribution from TBWA\ agencies across the region.
“The Loeries Board accepts that this was an error and that it was not the agency’s intention to attribute the wrong quotes to anyone,” reads a statement issued by the Loeries Board. “The Loeries continues to encourage brave and innovative work, but actively discourages work that does not reflect the high standards required of all brands, and that does not meet the eligibility criteria. The Board believes that all work — whether pro-bono for a good cause or for a major brand — should be afforded the same attention to detail. Pro-bono work entered into awards such as the Loeries should be held to an even higher standard and scrutiny, to ensure that agencies and their brand partners are truly working to make a difference, and not creating work merely for the sake of winning awards.”
As reported previously, Sean Donovan, TBWA CEO, has already 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.”
* Updated 2018/08/31: A previous version of this article reported that only a Gold Loerie had been returned.
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