The big question, once again: creativity or business? Awards or money? And more: client's needs or human rights? The Wall Street Journal tells the case of TBWA that, for entering a campaign about the human rights in China, is at risk of losing clients and opportunities. 'In recent weeks, Omnicom Group Inc.'s TBWA Worldwide has been working on both sides of China's global image. On behalf of sportswear maker Adidas AG, TBWA's Beijing office has been running a campaign focused on Chinese pride, showing Chinese athletes supported by throngs of fans.
At the same time, the agency's Paris office was working on another ad campaign on behalf of Amnesty International that showed Chinese athletes being tortured by Chinese authorities. In one of the print ads, a person has been attached to a target normally used in the shooting competition at the Games. At the bottom, it says, "After the Olympic Games, the fight for human rights must go on."
The ad won a bronze in Cannes, but now the agency is under attack in China.
This is not the first case, neither the last one. In Europe, WPP Group PLC's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide agency works on antismoking campaigns for the Cancer Research UK charity and does marketing for British American Tobacco PLC, one of the world's largest cigarette companies. It also creates ads for energy giant BP PLC and environmental group WWF, which wants to cut oil use.