Sunday, December 10, 2006


Following outrage from ad people around the world at the tasteless, fake Lego print campaign, the creative team responsible have been fired by Saatchi & Saatchi China and they have issued an apology to the ad world. The ads spread virally after being posted on an advertising blog, Ads of the World, sparking outrage among bloggers (including one posting a protest video on YouTube).
In a statement forwarded to the CB Blog, Saatchi & Saatchi China denied any knowledge of the fake Lego campaign:

I would like to call to your attention to clarify that the previous LEGO ads
posted here did not come from Saatchi & Saatchi China. Lego is not our China client. The creation of these fake ads was purely personal behavior.
Saatchi & Saatchi China (the company, senior executives, and our creative directors) have never seen nor approved to run these ads. After indepth investigation, two staff have been dismissed today as their irresponsible personal behavior have severely affected our company's professional image. Their illegally using Saatchi & Saatchi's name, and the senior director's name behind those ads without our company's consent is an intolerable act. We, Saatchi & Saatchi, reserve the right to take legal action against these individuals.
Head of HI and Admin,
Ms. Cherry Yang
Saatchi & Saatchi Guangzhou, China


Anonymous Anonymous said...

logged on too late to actually see this work, but I hope people keep this in perspective. Fact is, every award show ever held has work that was made solely to appeal to judges (and not the target audience that the product itself is actually targetted at)

these two dicks are just the most obvious example of what goes on all the time.

Their problem is (unlike the guys who did that arab suicide bomber thing for VW) that their work just wasn't good enough to compensate for their lack of ethics.

This sort of shit is symptomatic of an industry that loses its way when it values awards without thinking too hard about what the awards were for.

One award winning Sony Bravia campaign > one thousand award winning scam ads.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

every body hurts......sometime.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uuuuuumm!...does this not happen in Australia on a daily basis ???.....

O well...good to set a precedent I say,
I hope all of the young creartives that call directors & photographers to shoot them there stupid sham ads can take notice of this public execution.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, stupid creartives.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah... Sure their bosses didn't know about it. The CDs should get fired too. The team are being made scapegoats.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The worst part of all this is that a creative team thought that a print campaign leveraging human suffering on an immense scale would somehow be appropriate for a happy, fun product aimed at 6 year old kids and their parents.

Look at the stuff for Lego that did well at Cannes this year. Great ideas, but FUN and OPTIMISTIC in tonality, and all of it appealing to both award judges and kids/parents sense of childlike delight at the possibilities LEGO offers. Surely everyone in our industry gets paid to know stuff like this?

What a pair of fuckwits.

If anyone hires either of those two clueless clowns they need their head read.

Rebuild it. What the fuck? Rebuild entire communities in SE Asia, and bring back to life the 100s of thousands of dead with minature coloured plastic bricks?


10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In any situation there is always a positive outcome. I’ve seen some truly terrible pictures on television of the floods here in China. The scale of destruction and suffering is heartbreaking. But I also see some amazing scenes of community and cooperation. I see the People’s Liberation Army and ordinary people side by side working to save what they can and rebuild what is left." Kevin Roberts, Worldwide CEO Saatchi&Saatchi(

Isn't this the Lego brief?

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, I hate to raise the ugly 'scam vs real' argument again, but for fuck's sake..

Most of us spend months of meetings, research and client stupidity to eventually emerge out the other end with our work.

And 99% of the time we get fucked.

But very, very occasionally the stars align and we get something out that we're happy with.

And then we're trounced in Cannes by Mumbai, China, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and a certain Sydney agency.

And it's always work we've never seen for clients not normally known for it.

At least Saatchi's have been busted for one of them.

Oh, and by the way, if Nobby's vast essay about the blog had actually worked we'd never have got to see the campaign and Saatchi's China would be entering them next year.


12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It comes across as a fairly naieve campaign, that a good creative director would've squashed at the outset.

These guys surely aren't more than juniors. Why aren't the CD's heads rolling?

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can these ad's be considered art form? Is'nt it just something that could be put up in a gallery and get the same reaction from the media.
About seven years ago in NYC a piece representing the Madonna made of cow shit was just as controversial. It wasn't considered art buy the right wingers perspective. What is really the difference here? Is it to close to the bone for us?
The response from the Mayor was painted fiberglass cows placed through out the city.

I hate art for tourist.

I see this as something that should be in gallery. Not a print ad. We all love lego because we can afford it. And don't want to see the poor bastards that can't.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aaaaahhhh for heavens sake- The world and it's issues are bigger that these poor young creatives who were just having a go. How many people did it really outrage- none I bet. How sad that they felt that they had to write an apology to "the ad world" as if we are all saintly do gooders. Most of us are just hacks who snort too much nonsense and can't get work as a real writer, artist or film maker. Lets not forget- it ain't brain surgery -its just an ad!

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Judging by your comment, us cheeky chappies can pretty well get away with any kind of nauseating campaigns because hey, nobody cares eh?

And as far as your crocodile tears for the 'poor creatives' who had write an apology letter, maybe they can forward it to the families of the 290,000 people who died in the Asian tsunami, who, it seems, are now ample fodder for awards.

So yes, I am pretty fucking 'outraged.'

I'm quite scared that it seems that you're not.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lesson for scammers worldwide. Behold!

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

responding to posted at 5.28

I really don't believe that the unfortunate victims of these disasters have suffered any more from this campaign. I don't condone it or like it as a creative idea but where do we stop when censoring ideas/ art/ songs/movies and ads for that matter. I do think it is a bit pathetic that they had apologise to ALL. Geeez- half the stuff we do ads for we should apologise for- games where kids learn the art of war- crap food that give people disease and obesity- I think if we were really OUTRAGED by
moral slights we may take a closer look at our industry and how we also leverage off others vulnerability. I feel sorry for these guys- they are obviously naive and think they are being used as scapegoats.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe I'm saying this but I happen to agree with 6:33.

Who are we to be so self-righteous? Let's not forget they didn't say they wanted 9/11 to happen or wanted the Tsunami to happen. they actually said they wanted to rebuild from these disasters. So, we are offended they put a lego logo on it. Fair enough.

If they weren't junior and had enough experience to show their creative director first, everyone would have had a laugh and the ads would have ended up in the bin. But instead they are out of a job and being crucified. I think it's all a bit crazy.

Everyone makes mistakes, some bigger than others.

Next story Lynchy, before these guys can never get a job.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You fucking serious 8.26?

You stick client's logo on an image of 9/1 and the Tsunami without clearing it with them, then post it for all the world to see and you DON'T expect to get fired?


10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was an ad done by an agency in Thailand (featured in CB Asia) which showed a plane about to go down and carried a headline to the effect of 'for those who like putting things together'. I had the same reaction looking at it but these ads are just more crass.

Very dumb creatives, but firing them is a bit much. Maybe getting them to donate part of their salary to a good cause would suffice.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They obviously know a good ad, they just don't know good taste.

Give them a job someone and teach them.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like em'.

Rebuild It. Lego

If Lego doesn't rebuild these disasters someone should.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all so ridiculous. I do agree the creatives should be taught how to right a good ad without having to be abnoxious. It seems to be the young creative fad. They should show the team of advertising creatives sitting in the office with a finshed modern LEGO building saying - be creative. Or would that be to offensive to CD's?

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm sorry, I haven't got a clue as to what you just wrote.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys, time out here. Like the great Jack Vaughn and other well respected people have suggested; that occasionally, regarding these blog thingies, we discover something new and fresh. For example, this time we've discovered that Nobby can write a good long copy ad.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Benetton do this about 15 years ago? A guy dying of aids surrounded by crying family. An oil soaked bird. Was it any less tasteless? It was probably even less relevant.

PS. Black Wu is a very cool name

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't sack the juniors, sack the people who should have known better, the CD, ECD, Senior Account Director etc etc etc.

P.S. You can't compare it to the VW Polo scam ad, as the VW ad shows the evil doer getting his own thus VW prevents a terrorist disaster, whereas what these young fellows have done is use disaters (human suffering) to promote thier product.... a bit wrong

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course you can compare it to the VW scam.

Both were done by a creative team to further their own careers.

Both were done without the (apparent) knowledge of the client.

Both were disowned by the parent company.

Both attempted to leverage a contentious issue that would otherwise be taboo in advertising.

Saying you can't compare the two because suicide bombers are bad and the VW spot showed one getting blown up is just plain dumb.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it really any worse than selling people cigarettes or rotting a generation of children's teeth, or making them all fat through PS games?

NO. So wind your fucking necks in people, they fucked up, a little like telling a bad joke at the wrong time, only with a giant fucking megaphone.

I'm sure many of us have made ads we regret, normally because they were shit and we were powerless to change that.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re 8.10
yeehah at last someone nailed the brief!!

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word 8:10

2:45 PM  

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