New ad campaign: Earth is the real terrorist, or something

posted at 5:45 pm on September 1, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

How badly did the ad agency DDB Brazil miscalculate on its new campaign for the World Wildlife Fund?  Badly enough that the WWF says they may sue DDB-B for releasing this print ad without authorization and with their logo prominently featured.  But hey — what sells conservation awareness better than minimizing the mass murder of 3,000 people by terrorists?

“The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.”

Wow!  Sounds like the Earth is the real terrorist.   I propose choking it to death with carbon dioxide!  If we implement cap-and-trade, the really brutal terrorist wins.

Even better than the potential lawsuit from their client is the award DDB-B won from The One Show this year.  Has the “merit” award ever been given to an unauthorized ad that was immediately disowned by the agency’s client?  Maybe DDB-B can pay its legal retainer with their plaque.

Whoever thought of trivializing and commercializing the murders of 3,000 people for an ad campaign about conservation needs to search deep within themselves to determine whether their soul exists.  (via The Corner)

Update: WWF sent me this response, to underscore their unhappiness (which I mention above):

WWF strongly condemns this offensive and tasteless ad and did not authorize its production or publication. It is our understanding that it was a concept offered by an outside advertising agency seeking our business in Brazil. The concept was summarily rejected by WWF and should never have seen the light of day. It is an unauthorized use of our logo and we are aggressively pursuing action to have it removed from websites where it is being currently featured. We strongly condemn the messages and the images portrayed in this ad. On behalf of WWF, here in the US and around the world, we can promise you this ad does not in any way reflect the thoughts and feelings of the people of our organization.

As I noted from the beginning.

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Comment pages: 1 2

How do you waterboard something made of water? I suggest incarceration in Death Valley.

Just being a pain, since you’re letting me get away with it.

Liam on September 1, 2009 at 7:35 PM

I was being ironical.

And obviously I can’t waterboard a tsunami because it’s too mean to do to a terroist anyway.

Scrappy on September 1, 2009 at 7:37 PM

I was being ironical.

And obviously I can’t waterboard a tsunami because it’s too mean to do to a terroist anyway.

Scrappy on September 1, 2009 at 7:37 PM

Please, please kiss an English teacher today.

Ironical isn’t it?

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 7:41 PM

An English lesson from a hillbilly; who’d’a thunk?

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 7:44 PM

There was something else like this a year or so ago, though for the life of me, I can’t recall the main details. It was a South African subsidiary of a really big Ad firm, the client had denounced the ads, thought they too had won awards. I recall that the ads were some sort of moral relativism invoking our America’s horrible brutality abroad.

Anyone else remember this?

Pablo on September 1, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Please, please kiss an English teacher today.

Ironical isn’t it?

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 7:41 PM

Yes, please do. Or don’t. Whatever

Scrappy on September 1, 2009 at 7:46 PM

In honor of our newly new Commander-in-Theory, I should have typed :

A English lesson…An

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 7:48 PM

In honor of our newly new Commander-in-Theory, I should have typed :

A English lesson…An
hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 7:48 PM

And a dictionary.

Scrappy on September 1, 2009 at 7:50 PM

And obviously I can’t waterboard a tsunami because it’s too mean to do to a terroist anyway.

Scrappy on September 1, 2009 at 7:37 PM

Ah, but if there’s no terrorist to complain about it later, did it happen?

Liam on September 1, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Ah, but if there’s no terrorist to complain about it later, did it happen?

Liam on September 1, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Oh, so now you want to use rendition on tsunamis too? You really are evil.

Scrappy on September 1, 2009 at 7:53 PM

On 9/11, 3 out of the 4 targets were civilian buildings. The plane that went down in Shanksville was aimed at either the White House or the Capitol.

Del Dolemonte on September 1, 2009 at 6:19 PM

How is the Pentagon a civilian building?

joejm65 on September 1, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Please read my post again. I said 3 out of the 4 targets were civilian buildings. Those were WTC 1, WTC 2, and either the White House or the Capitol.

Del Dolemonte on September 1, 2009 at 7:56 PM

Oh, so now you want to use rendition on tsunamis too? You really are evil.

Scrappy on September 1, 2009 at 7:53 PM

If you want to see real evil out of me, wait till I can get Cuban cigars and pollute the air some more. Of course, smoking pot doesn’t pollute the air but I smoke cigarettes so I’m part-way there. Once I get my mitts on a box of Havanas, though…

Liam on September 1, 2009 at 8:00 PM

It saddens me that so many don’t get the ironical nature of my typing:

A English lesson.

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 8:02 PM

Prove to me that Democrats, as a group, are not retarded.

Prove it.

jeff_from_mpls on September 1, 2009 at 8:08 PM

The point being:

O B A M A C A N ‘ T S P E A K E N G L I S H ! ! ! !

Or better, Obama can’t speak a English sentence properly.

Ironic as hell, no?

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Prove to me that Democrats, as a group, are not retarded.

Prove it.

jeff_from_mpls on September 1, 2009 at 8:08 PM

It can’t be done.

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Scrappy, no offense intended, except toward the Jug-eared One.

No sweat.

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 8:24 PM

I almost puked when I looked at this ad!

gmrouse on September 1, 2009 at 8:32 PM

When I visit my parents, I always used to point out to the kids as we cross over the bridge where the twin towers are and how that means we’re “close to grandpa’s house.”

Now, almost 8 years later, I try and point out where the Empire State building is, but it’s harder to find. And makes me sad.

The people that made this ad did nothing to further their cause and if anything made people who barely knew they existed seriously disgusted and infuriated with them.

In a word, sickening.

DrAllecon on September 1, 2009 at 9:03 PM

The WWF is blasting the ad, saying it was a comp from their ad agency.

What kind of an ad agency pitches an idea like that?

Via American Digest.

ExUrbanKevin on September 1, 2009 at 9:20 PM

The WWF didn’t commission this ad, which isn’t really surprising. They’re a serious organization, not PETA-style clowns:

WWF, however, didn’t commission the ad. Indeed, it “strongly condemned” the ad in a press release. It’s an unauthorized concept created by an agency seeking the group’s business in Brazil. According to Advertolog, the ad was created by DDB Brasil.

What’s surprising is that so many people actually thought this ad came from WWF. It’s not known for insensitive advertising or PETA-style tricks. Aside from the ridiculously crass imagery, the biggest tip-off for me was the copy.

omriceren on September 1, 2009 at 9:21 PM

If Earth is a terrorist, I say we take it out quickly with a world-wide force of gas-guzzlin’ Hummers.

eforhan on September 1, 2009 at 9:24 PM

I purpose we wage a global war on Earth!

Okay seriously, can we water board these damn conversationalists. I find them much more vexatious than a practitioner of jihad.

Cr4sh Dummy on September 1, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Who cares if it was unauthorized, unvetted, yadda yadda yadda – The urban legend to spin is that WWF made fun of the deaths of 3,000 people.

Lou Budvis on September 1, 2009 at 9:33 PM

Prove to me that Democrats, as a group, are not retarded.

Prove it.

jeff_from_mpls on September 1, 2009 at 8:08 PM

If we’re counting all those who voted in Obama in 2008 as Democrats, then one could simply point out that they voted Bush in twice before.

MadisonConservative on September 1, 2009 at 9:41 PM

Prove to me that Democrats, as a group, are not retarded.

Prove it.

jeff_from_mpls on September 1, 2009 at 8:08 PM

It can’t be done.

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 8:16 PM

If we’re counting all those who voted in Obama in 2008 as Democrats, then one could simply point out that they voted Bush in twice before.

MadisonConservative on September 1, 2009 at 9:41 PM

Can’t——————— Be —————————done.

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 9:50 PM

What kind of an ad agency pitches an idea like that?

An agency whose creative teams want to win awards. Some US agencies even have “pro bono” budgets for their creatives to produce ads for the purpose of entering in award shows.

bgoldman on September 1, 2009 at 9:50 PM

Are the false environmentalists now claiming that tsunamies are anthropologically caused? That is a new one. Boy, humans are all powerful! I wonder how we do it. The proximate cause of tsunamies are earthquakes and underwaster volcanic erruptions. It gets deeper every day.

burt on September 1, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Hmmm…boy, that sounds familiar…

MadisonConservative on September 1, 2009 at 5:50 PM
Throw a virgin into the volcano to pacify it!

Esthier on September 1, 2009 at 5:52 PM

I am not sure Gia will be happy with a virgin. Something this serious may take a major political leader.

cobrakai99 on September 1, 2009 at 10:01 PM

If we’re counting all those who voted in Obama in 2008 as Democrats, then one could simply point out that they voted Bush in twice before.

If we’re looking for clues for what might happen, I suggest looking long and hard at the individual polling in each precinct as our “friends” on the left are most assuredly doing.

Of course there is no real reason to worry, since we know that Eric Holder is in charge of the Justice Department, and partisan politics has never played a part in his decision-making process.

Don’t ever forget that our president “sat still” at the very least for Jeremiah Wright’s putrid hate speech.

God Bless America.

No, please don’t strike “Bless”.

Too easy.

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 10:05 PM

I still think the best WWF ad is the one with their panda-logo, getting clobbered over the head pro-wrestling style, by another panda using a folding chair. After that one, albeit somewhat “unauthorized” I’m sure, why hire these DDB-B clowns in the first place?

Blacksmith on September 2, 2009 at 1:18 AM

New ad campaign: Earth is the real terroristman-caused disaster, or something

Fixed for current terminology.

James on September 2, 2009 at 1:42 AM

Ive seen on another site that a lot of folks are not donating to them again. I also find it hard to believe the WWF had no clue about this.

becki51758 on September 2, 2009 at 8:55 AM

“The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.

EARTH is the ultimate terrorist! Kill it! Kill it now! Before it can kill us! Polluters of the earth UNITE!

Do I really need a /sarc?

dominigan on September 2, 2009 at 8:58 AM

When you think about how many people are involved in creating an ad campaign, it’s absolutely mindblowing to me that not one of them realized this was in incredibly poor taste. And this sort of thing happens more often than it should.

All of these morons should be fired.

NoLeftTurn on September 1, 2009 at 5:57 PM

They’re all anti-American so passing this ad around the office was like passing around a sweet piece of eye candy. Hell, half these idiots are for sure 911 deniers as well. They’re Brazilian right?
The world hates us. I say, that’s THEIR problem!

max1 on September 2, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Flashback 2004: For my money, nothing says crass like Subway sandwich trayliners mocking WTC mass murder.

Terp Mole on September 2, 2009 at 10:51 AM

WWF probably loved the ad but fear the loss of millions of dollars from the hippies who secretly love the ad also but don’t want to admit it. The lawsuit should make up for the lost revenue, er, donations.

WWF was found to give 15% of donations to actually help wildlife. I guess they need the other 85% to pay for this stuff.

allstonian on September 2, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Anyway, hillbillyjim, I got the english part. Just so’s you’d know we ain’t all totally ignernt out here. Jus’ sayin’.

thebookkeeper on September 2, 2009 at 9:58 PM

Even better than the potential lawsuit from their client is the award DDB-B won from The One Show this year.

Does anyone have a screenshot of that award page? It seems they have taken down that page. Some more CYA.

Patriot Vet on September 2, 2009 at 10:33 PM

Comment pages: 1 2