Here's a statement issued by WWF:
"WWF reiterates our strong condemnation and repudiation of this offensive and tasteless ad and reaffirms that no one in the US organization had any knowledge or any role in the ad's creation and expresses its regret for any pain it may have caused 9-11 victims and their families.
"Earlier this week, WWF-US issued a statement based on information provided by WWF Brazil, a separate and independent organization within the international WWF network, that the ad was created by an outside agency and was not authorized by anyone within their organization.
"WWF Brazil has subsequently issued statements that have raised doubts about whether the ad concept was approved at some level within the WWF Brazil organization.
"We have now re-launched a renewed inquiry into the circumstance surrounding the creation of the ad. Additionally, we are using every resource at our disposal to remove these images everywhere they exist online because they are hurtful and disrespectful to the victims of 9-11 and their families.
"We deeply regret that the information we provided, while given in good faith, may not have been completely accurate. We stand by our earlier statements that the ad was utterly inappropriate and should never have seen the light of day. They do not in any way reflect the thoughts and feelings of the people of World Wildlife Fund. Again, WWF-US strongly condemns this campaign and offers our sincere and heartfelt apologies."
Not only that, but this ad wins a merit award at the One Show Awards which brings the awards committee to create a more strict guidelines!
Here's what One Show has to say:
The One Show statement says: “In the light of the recent events surrounding the “Tsunami Ad” created by DDB Brazil for WWF, the One Club announces today that we will implement what we believe to be the most stringent and thorough “fake ads” policy in our industry.
The One Club defines “fake ads” as: ads created for nonexistent clients or made and run without a client’s approval, or ads created expressly for award shows that are run once to meet the requirements of a tear sheet.
For 2010 and onwards, the One Show will be adopting the following new rules and penalties.
1. An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad made for nonexistent clients, or made and run without a client’s approval, will be banned from entering the One Show for 5 years.
2. The entire team credited on the “fake” entries will be banned from entering the One Show for 5 years.
3. An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad that has run once, on late night TV, or has only run because the agency produced a single ad and paid to run it themselves*, will be banned from entering The One Show for 3 years.
*The One Club reserves the right to review ‘late-night, ran-once’ and launch versions, at The One Club’s discretion. If it is determined that the ad was created expressly for award show entry, the penalty will hold.”Update 1:
Wednesday evening: DDB Brazil posted a statement on its Web site Wednesday, signed by both WWF Brazil and DDB Brazil, claiming shared responsibility for the creation and initial approval of this ad, which has caused a firestorm of controversy since Tuesday morning.
The English version of the statement reads: "WWF Brasil and DDB Brasil would like to jointly express their regret for the unfortunate incident involving the 'Tsunami' ad for World Wildlife Fund Brasil. The ad does not convey either the philosophy of the client or that of its advertising agency. It was created and approved in late 2008, mistakenly, and was solely the result of lack of experience on the part of a few professionals from both parties involved. In no way was it done in bad faith or with disrespect to American suffering. WWF Brasil and DDB Brasil acknowledge that such an ad never should have been made, approved or published. We reiterate our apologies to all those who may have been offended by it. The two entities have worked together for three years to mobilize people, efforts and resources for the good of the environment. A single error should not obscure past successes, nor prevent future ones."
An e-mailed statement from DDB Brazil in which the agency, while still apologizing for the ad's creation, claims it was approved for publication by the local branch of the WWF. The statement reads: "The 'Tsunami' ad for World Wildlife Fund Brasil was created by a team at DDB Brasil in December 2008, approved and ran. The team in question is no longer with the Agency. DDB Brasil apologizes to anyone who was offended or affected by the ad. It should never have been made and it does not portray the philosophy of the agency."
Well, whatever the case might be, creatives should know that creativity comes with great responsibility!