Apology letters for Lego

I removed the Lego campaign of Saatchi & Saatchi, Guangzhou, China from the front page. The apology letters by request from the creators are attached.


ivan's picture

This comment is an answer to this comment:

What is wrong and what is right is very subjective. It depends on a certain cultural environment. Certain things that are pretty normal in some cultures, in others is terrible. Cannibalism, poligamy, eating pork, atheism, murder, incest, facial hair or the lack of it... the list goes on.

Judging from the comments, it seems that Lego campaign hit a multicultural nerve as nearly everybody literally from around the globe hated it. Using human misery to sell toys... It is just wrong.

But, I fear to say, besides my first reaction, I felt something deeply positive about it. For me the campaign touched on the duality of adult serious facts of life and the naive and non rational optimism of a child. Something like start building as a kid and continue build a better world as an adult, despite all the misery of human made and natural disasters.

mancrepublic's picture
62 pencils

Agreed. Although, they shouldn't have done this and credited the agency where they work, without their permission apparently.
It was a little naive, but not nasty, and there was a nice thought behind it. It seems too me, that any offence was unintentional... they weren't mocking the situations...but people might take it that those events are trivalised as soon as you place them in context with selling products.

At least though, they weren't taking the p*ss out of twin towers etc. Unlike some earlier ads that were posted on here for an acne cream, if I remember correctly.


ivan's picture

What do you mean? They did feature the twin towers.

mancrepublic's picture
62 pencils

I meant they weren't taking the p*ss out of them, in the way that the acne cream ad did. Becasue they're saying 'rebuild it', it's positive,


addyhoch10's picture
2592 pencils

interesting that everyone was talking about the twin tower ad - the other two weren't any better.
first thing i thought when seeing the one with the muslim refugees was that it is pretty "tough" to do such an ad nowadays, especially for lego which is a danish brand.

ivan's picture

According to Adrants the creators got fired. Saatchi takes their reputation seriously. I would like somebody to confirm if this really happened.

popdistortion's picture
1594 pencils

If true, I believe this is taking it a bit too far. The apology letter was appropiate and no further harm was done. Especially because it was done unintentional and was never published. Furthermore I doubt that the image of Saatchi was harmed after the quick resolvement of the matter.

goldcat's picture
2 pencils

we are not only talking about ideas. it is about human integrity. yes, they got fired. but it is not only about agency's reputation. they did scam ads and used the name of their ecd and agency without informing both parties. it is probably a criminal case.

charlesfrith's picture
2 pencils

How about a a lego 'bag man' in Tiananmen Square?

It felt more like cultural naivety than anything. Hardly a shocker in a country that cuts that stuff out of Google searches.

Charles Frith

purplesimon's picture
475 pencils

Personally, I liked the Rebuild It concept, it was how it was applied that was ill-thought out by the creative team. As I stated in my original comment on the piece. It could have worked well if they'd picked non-political items to 'rebuild' or something humorous.

Whether or not it was worth sacking staff for it's not my place to say. However, is it really about China and its reputation or is it about Saatchi & Saatchi and the reputation of the agency? In my opinion, it's the latter.

Does anyone know what Lego thought of it, out of interest?

weighter's picture
744 pencils

The fact that they credited an agency, with a seniors name, unbeknown to either that this ad was even created is a huge mistake. That alone warrants their being fired. Poor judgment on a grand scale.


ivan's picture

Ooops! I thought the campaign was deleted from everywhere: http://creativecriminal.blogspot.com/2006/12/lego.html

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alfieaxel's picture
2 pencils

Im not going to say what everyone else has already said, but I do want to comment on your knowledge of the topic. Youre truly well-informed. I cant believe how much of this I just wasnt aware of. Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. Im truly grateful and really impressed.

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