Amnesty After the Olympics

Amnesty International have distanced themselves from an award-winning print advertising campaign from France. Print advertisements which won Bronze Press Lions at Cannes International Advertising Festival in June, show Chinese prisoners being tortured, imprisoned and executed, with links to swimming, weight lifting and archery sports.

“After the Olympics Games, the Fight for Human Rights Must Go On.”

Amnesty Swimming Torture event

Amnesty Prisoner with weights
Amnesty Archery event


The Amnesty China campaign was developed at TBWA Paris by executive creative director Erik Vervroegen, copywriter Benoit Leroux, art director Philippe Taroux, art buyer Barbara Chevalier, account supervisors Anne Vincent and Tiphaine Ruault du Plessis, with photographer Marc Gouby.


Amnesty International would like to make clear that it was not involved in the dissemination of a series of images that have been circulating on the web in relation to the Beijing Olympics. Amnesty International’s global website address is www.amnesty. However Amnesty International continues to raise issues relating to capital punishment, the rights of activists, freedom from censorship and fair trials.

Tom Carroll, chief executive of TBWA Worldwide, is quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, “This is the action of one individual at our agency working on a pro bono account.” He said the agency is investigating the matter and will take appropriate action to “ensure this never happens again.”

So does that mean that the French campaign, entered by TBWA Paris at Cannes, never actually ran? Is this the equivalent of revelations of drug use after Olympic events? Should entrants be stripped of their medals (Lions)?

See my article on Advertising and the Olympics: Respect and Truth, at Talent Zoo, and the Amnesty Slovakia campaign: China Preparing for the Olympics.

via Dabitch at Adland (TBWA are Two Faced)