A series of three ads, titled ‘Bounce Back’, created by Ogilvy India for Kurl On mattress, featuring Malala Yousafzai, Mahatma Gandhi and Steve Jobs, is drawing flak from all quarters for its content, which has been found to be offensive and in bad taste.
This brings on a sense of déjà vu, when one recalls the Ford Figo scam, which had taken place about a year ago. This time, the three-ad series features three iconic figures who are looked up to and highly respected, especially a historical figure like Mahatma Gandhi and tech giant Steve Jobs, which makes it seem like a much bigger incident than the Ford Figo ad last year.
The current ad under scanner shows a cartoon depiction of Pakistani schoolgirl and activist Malala being shot, and then miraculously coming back to life after a night’s rest on a Kurl On mattress.
A statement from Ogilvy stated: “O&M India regrets this incident and wants to personally apologise to Malala and her family. We are investigating how our standards were compromised in this case and will take whatever corrective action is necessary. We have launched a thorough review of our approval and oversight processes across our global network to help ensure that our standards are never compromised again.”
What about the other two ads?
Interestingly, Ogilvy India had entered the work in Kyoorius Awards, which was withdrawn on May 14, confirm sources. One wonders what happened to client approval in this case.