Every creative at every agency has one, a file filled with ideas that were killed at one point or another by a creative director, account director or client. Most of us have the good sense never to share those ideas with the outside world.
Such was not the case with some staffers at JWT India who decided share these offensive ad comps with Ads of the World in an effort to show how creative they are.
Now the team at Ford has a full-fledged PR crisis on their hands, JWT global executives are bending over backwards to try to save the account, and the people who thought this was a good idea are deservedly on the street looking for new jobs.
The fact that they spent the time and money to hire a professional illustrator to create the comps leads me to believe that someone at a senior level in the creative department approved these "ideas." I'm not sure if they ever made it to the client, but somewhere along the way, this concept was rightfully killed and should never have seen the light of day.
The advertising business – thanks to its fascination with youth – has always attracted people who feel their talent and creativity entitle them to privileges well beyond their years, that their inflated titles and meteoric rise make them smarter than everyone else in the room. It's that attitude that leads to events like this.
Advertising is about creating memorable messages to support and build a client's brand. That requires creativity, maturity and judgement. Unfortunately it appears that no one in the creative department at JWT India has any of those qualities.
In an update, this article by Ad Age suggests that not only did people at the highest levels of JWT India know about these ads, but so did someone at the client who had to sign a document stating that the ads were real before they could be entered in a local awards show. My guess is more people will be losing their jobs very soon.