It recently came to light that a campaign awarded a Gold Loerie, as well as a Silver Loerie and a Craft Certificate, for the Apartheid Museum by TBWA Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg titled “Past and Present” had some inaccuracies in the content. Some quotes used in the campaign were shown to be incorrectly attributed. The agency has subsequently pulled the campaign and handed back the related awards.
The Loeries Board has reviewed the issue and decided that all work entered by TBWA Hunt Lascaris for the Apartheid Museum this year be disqualified, including the full “Past and Present” campaign, as well as a separate campaign titled, “The Old South Africa Flag.” This campaign was awarded a Bronze Loerie. All awards – a Gold Loerie, Silver Loerie, Bronze Loerie, and Craft Certificate, as well as all finalists – received by TBWA Hunt Lascaris for their work done for the Apartheid Museum have been revoked.
The Loeries Official Rankings are impacted by the disqualification of these entries. TBWA Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg falls off the Top 3 ranking for Agency of the Year. Joe Public remains in first place, followed by Impact BBDO Dubai in second place, then King James Group in third place. The TBWA\ group remains in first place for the Regional Agency Group of the Year, through the collective contribution from TBWA\ agencies across the region.
The Loeries Board accepts that this was an error and that it was not the agency’s intention to attribute the wrong quotes to anyone. The Loeries continues to encourage brave and innovative work, but actively discourages work that does not reflect the high standards required of all brands, and that does not meet the eligibility criteria. The Board believes that all work – whether pro-bono for a good cause or for a major brand – should be afforded the same attention to detail. Pro-bono work entered into awards such as the Loeries should be held to an even higher standard and scrutiny, to ensure that agencies and their brand partners are truly working to make a difference, and not creating work merely for the sake of winning awards.