Jul 14

Reacting to reactions to a campaign that went too far, Amnesty International put the following disclaimer on its home page:

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.org

The statement is not untrue per se. But some details were conveniently left out:

  • Amnesty International commissioned TBWA\Paris to produce those photos
  • It further granted permission to TBWA\Paris to run the ads once and enter them in the Cannes
  • The visuals were not final versions, and Amnesty International knew the wrong web address was a minor error
Jul 14

An advertising campaign commissioned by the human rights group Amnesty International has raised flames of anger throughout China. For previous discussions, see ESWN and Danwei.

Wall Street Journal has more details on the backlash, reporting:

Weeks before the Olympics put Beijing and the Games’ corporate backers on the world stage, an advertising heavyweight has stumbled over the divide between how some view China and how the nation views itself…. Word of the human-rights campaign is now spreading through China, and TBWA and Amnesty International are disavowing the ads.

Chinese bloggers, spurred by a report in state-run media of the Amnesty campaign last week, are now calling for a boycott of all TBWA ads, among other measures.

And many in China are indeed very angry. But there are other voices as well; below is a translated internet post from Xinmin Net: (原文):

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