The creative managing director of Young & Rubicam Buenos Aires said that is spite of the request from the central office in New York it can’t force the Argentine government to withdraw the controversial advert linking the Falklands/Malvinas claim with the coming Olympic Games in London.
“I can’t tell the (Argentine) government what to take off or put in the air. I believe the request has been direct from head offices (WPP in New York) to the government” said Martin Mercado from Y&R.
“This is a very particular case and the piece belongs to the client”, added Mercado who emphasized the message was for the Argentines, “it was not meant for the outside”
Mercado said HQ in New York was not consulted on the creation of the advert or its commercialization, “we have autonomy and we are an emblematic agency in Argentina in spite of the fact we are also international”.
“We have always been recognized for our creative capacity and the truth is that we don’t send our adverts made in Argentina overseas”.
On Friday the international advertising holding WPP from which depends Y&R Buenos Aires, in a strongly worded release condemned the airing of the TV advert and “asked the Argentine government to pull the spot”.
WWP said, furthermore, the agency’s policy opposes involvement in anything politically motivated. “This spot was also offensive to the Olympics spirit. Whatever it was the creators set out to highlight, what they produced is contrary to everything that we as a company stand for.”
Thus, the company apologized for the advert and regretted the incident. “We are deeply regretful for the pain this ad has caused and apologize to the many that have been rightly disturbed by it, as have we,” it stressed.
The TV ad was secretly filmed on the Falkland Islands by Y&R Buenos Aires and features hockey player Fernando Zylberberg training at British landmarks with the strap line, “To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil”.
In the ad, Zylberberg is shown frowning at a Union flag, before running past Falkland Island landmarks, such as the Globe Tavern pub, the offices of newspaper Penguin News and a red telephone box, before doing step-ups on a memorial to those who fell in the First World War.
The ad is entitled: “Olympic Games 2012: Homage to the Fallen and the Veterans of the Malvinas”.