Weight lifting

June 2008

Print advertisment created by TBWA, France for Amnesty International, within the category: Public Interest, NGO.

After the Olympic Games, the fight for human rights must go on.

Advertising Agency: TBWA\Paris, France
Executive Creative Director / Creative Director: Erik Vervroegen
Copywriter: Benoit Leroux
Art Director: Philippe Taroux
Photographer: Marc Gouby
Art Buyer: Barbara Chevalier
Account Supervisors: Anne Vincent, Tiphaine Ruault du Plessis

Comments (51)

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Highest Rated

Shanghaier's picture
Activity Score 4

If you are a real chinese, pls do not pretend to be a foreign.
Because of your innocence, you must grow up in watching CCTV.

sumsum's picture
Activity Score 615

very good

Chris's picture
Activity Score 1985

reminds me of SAW.

seba-romero's picture
Activity Score 37

Yeah... the first one.. great movie! :)

getconnected2001's picture
Activity Score 987

Nice campaign!
Good job.

Mister P's picture
Mister P
Activity Score 51

It's a Cannes 2008 campaign. Wonderful art direction and Photography.

ADebutant's picture
Activity Score 266

Love the campaign. The casting seems wrong for this one though. Would be more affective for me if I could actually imagine the person in real life being able to lift that much weight.
"Our factories make cosmetics. We sell hope." -M.Factor

jmscarane's picture
Activity Score 48

If she could lift it, wouldn't it not be tying her down and keeping her captive

Activity Score 1838

Yeah, you're right, that's the whole point. Some people eh?

We're going to need more lube.

ADebutant's picture
Activity Score 266

I was comparing it to the other two executions which seem believable that those people could have actually competed in the olympics in those particular events. I understand the idea. I just think it comes through more strongly in the other two executions.

"Our factories make cosmetics. We sell hope." -M.Factor

chinaski's picture
Activity Score 951


blackangel's picture
Activity Score 6

Fuck the TBWA\Paris, France!

Is there anybody really know the Chinese history? If u no,pls shut up!
Is there anybody come to China ever before? If u no,pls shut up!
If you want to see the realllll China?we glad to welcome u.

I'm the one of Leoburnett\Shanghai,China!

ironcity's picture
Activity Score 55

blackangel... i think you just showed us the real china.

Genghis's picture
Activity Score 10

Well said ironcity.

The ads convey the reality as the world sees it blackangel, and this medium is an international platform. If you can't understand this, then perhaps instead of us going there, it is you that needs to come out and look around.

Bye's picture
Activity Score 1464

You sound like a fine ambassador for China, saying fuck TBWA\Paris won't help you much in advertising btw.

hanscam4's picture
Activity Score 11

the ads is somehow provoking, i hope u notice that too
put urself in shoes of a chinese. Angry reviewer as well as this ad campaign just reflect sense of extremism in a few individuals. It is sad that so many "civilized" europeans holds so much prejuce and so little tolerance.

flylee's picture
Activity Score 20

fuck TBWA,fuck France!
fuck TBWA,fuck France!
fuck TBWA,fuck France!
fuck TBWA,fuck France!
fuck TBWA,fuck France!
fuck TBWA,fuck France!
fuck TBWA,fuck France!
fuck TBWA,fuck France!
fuck TBWA,fuck France!
fuck TBWA,fuck France!

flylee's picture
Activity Score 20

putin les français Monsieur Nicolas Sarkozy, La France est une paye Bourée, C la merde !!!!!!

Bye's picture
Activity Score 1464

Wonderful people the Chinese.

bestken's picture
Activity Score 6

i was angry when i saw tne french insulted china again and again.i dont understand why theydo that.
did you people ever come to china before?did you really see that thing by yourself?if dont,
stop saying the rude words!you cant jude everything just by some false photo!im a local chinese,
dont you know better than me about china?i can swear,like that thing is never gonna to happen in china!

F10's picture
Activity Score 6

No, No, Don’t fuck France! It is not a right way here. It is a place to talk about academe, not a place to relieve the emotion.

Let’s calm down, and talk it on an academic manner. Although I admit that it is a good art execution, there are still obvious disfigurements from the series prints ads. I’d like to say sth to my peers in TBWA France.

Dear TBWA France,

When reviewing an ad, we often ask a question firstly: who is the target audience and what is the ad objective? From this ad, it seems the target audience would be the Chinese people, because they are the direct beneficial from improvement of human rights, and they stand at the frontier pursuing human rights from their government. But why most Chinese who gave their comments here abused you? Are they ambassadors of Chinese government? No, they are ordinary Chinese advertising people. is not popular in China, advertising people are the frequent visitors here. It is very ironic that the President of France becomes the most unwelcome by Chinese people, after he announced that he took care about the situation of human rights in China, and he would always stand with Chinese people. You do the same thing as him. You may argue that Chinese people are not your targets, you may target people from other countries. Come on ! It is more ironic than your president if you think so. How can you imagine to improve the human rights in China without the support of Chinese people? So this campaign has unclear objective with ambiguous definition of target audience.

May I admire you for your courage and conscience from such a Quixote-like ad? No, he is a knight, but you are not. In China, advertising people make advertisement based on facts, but you are not! In China, advertising people make advertisement with full sense of social responsibility and basic human moral, but you are not! In China, advertising people are pursing the independent individuality and freedom from political fetter, but you are not!

Let me tell you the facts. China has improved a lot in its human rights record. I was ever a protest demonstration organizer at Tiananmen Square when I was a young student in 1989. At least 10 years ago, I don’t dare to say that. But now I feel free to talk it, because I am not afraid being punished. According to the current Chinese laws, if any police treats his prisoner like what you demo in your ad, he will be seriously punished.

Let me tell you the social responsibility. Advertisement must be on a basis of truth. You may argue that it is not the news report, but creative concept and art executions which show your attitude. But your ad is lack of basic facts in China, while with an impact art execution. Have you really the ability to distinguish the difference between the reality of the news journal and the art execution? Do you confident that the people have the ability to well tell the difference? If not either, you are misleading the people.

Let me tell you the independence and freedom of thinking. Advertising is neither a tool of politics, nor an attachment of any dirty political purpose. But now looking at yourself, you will find you are echoing so much with your president and many clownery politicians in France!

Before I reviewed this ad, I am not sure I am a strong supporter to the Chinese government. But after reviewing it, I am definitely an opposer against any criticism to China and its government in such way.

Lastly, how can we measure your ad? Is it successful? Is it impact enough to arouse action? Yes, you may have successfully provoked Chinese people and pushed them to your opposite. In this meaning, you are successful. Besides that, this ad could only excite your creative director, your art director and art buyer, and the judges committee of the ad awards. In China, the advertising people call this self-satisfied ad as “Fei Ji Ad”. In China we call “Hit Fei Ji” as fucking. At most your ad is a “show in” ad. “SHOW IN” is a Chinese pronunciation, please follow me and speak aloud: SHOW IN. Yes, correct, “SHOW IN” in Chinese means masturbation. I am so astonished with this collectively produced masturbation ad. I am so sad for the degeneration of modern French arts and cultures. I always bear in mind many your glorious ancestors in arts and cultures, but the only persons I know in your current France are the president of France, and the Mayor of Paris. Do you admire the two? I believe neither you nor I!

So please do something which let your Chinese craft brothers admire you, not depreciate you.

If you are not quite sure or in line with me, please refer to your TBWA colleagues in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Hongkong offices. You could ask their opinion about your ad. I believe they will share the same with me. And of course, you could also ask them, what is SHOW IN?

F Shi
OgilvyOne Beijing Office, China

Guest's picture

I am proud of support U!

Guest's picture

You say "China has improved a lot in its human rights record". Well, I've "improved" my english, I've "improved" my cooking, I've "improved" my skills at PS3 games... but c'mon, for christ's sake, Human Rights it's NOT something that you can casually improve just to put a smile in the world's face, I mean, do you realize what you just wrote? Improved a lot? Oh, how great! And when are the chinese goverment actually going to fully respect all Human Rights??? huh???

Guest's picture

with all respect, china is still not a first world country.
In any other second/ third world country, although violating human rights is frowned upon, full respect of human rights just isn't expected and thus many other countries do not come under as heavy fire and criticism as the Chinese government recieves.
In now way am i suggesting that the world stop the struggle for human rights, i am merely suggesting that criticizing often does not help: it is encouragement that expedites progress. China HAS improved a lot, and though it isn't perfect, i'm sure in bangkok people are treated just as badly or worse, yet Thailand does not get as much criticism.
Stop casting your eye where the media directs you: do some of your own thinking.
Negativity is never the answer to something such as human rights.

Guest's picture

stop by china first and then i guess you would prefer to keeping your mouth shut after you get the idea of your funny concept of "human right", for christ sake, PLEASE COME TO CHINA!!!!!

sackedar's picture
Activity Score 8

Publishing Ad in International level is the good things. This is the unregulated medium. This is very sad when your ads hurt some one county emotions or any religion. I studied chanies history during my graduation. It’s a wonderful country. As we always learn in India no one is perfect. No country is perfect but we have to build them perfect. As far French agencies who publish this ad one think is sure before going to clean another house first see how dirty is my house.
You are raising the point on human rights in Chaina but what about in France. Those Sikh community fights Second World War as French solider when Germans capture France. What you done for them. They always protesting in Paris road to allow their religion freedom and you just close the eyes as you saying that chanies rulers are doing.
It’s very bad.
Hope we can build the better future with peace and harmony.

extraboy's picture
Activity Score 91

Actually,it's werid...where the idea comes from?
most of u guys never ever go to China,but u can just sit there and judge.
who needs the god anymore?u r the god.
if this is the ad really means in ur eyes?i rather change my job,going to China,and see what i really can help.

anyways,nice execution!

extraboy's picture
Activity Score 91's a copy job!
go to see <24hours>,ur idea is really really OLD!

Genghis's picture
Activity Score 10

I think we're all missing a point here. Amnesty International as the client who approved these ads have a a charter and that is to expose and bring to attention abuses committed worldwide by governments. I've seen AI adverts on Guantanamo, Mugabe, Burma, etc... and no one can deny the governments of these countries commit human rights abuses. It's is not TBWA who briefed in and requested these adverts to be made and I don't think anyone can say outright that as an agency it's their responsibility to communicate or convince the client to communicate the message a different way. The brief would have very simply said 'make an ad that reminds people what goes on behind the scenes and will go on after the olympics', and in this, I believe TBWA have answered the brief.

I've shown these ads to other non-advertising people who I believe are relatively well versed in world politics and news, and they share the same sentiment. The ads do exactly what they are supposed to, which is to remind the target audience (the world at large, through whom indirectly AI hopes to influence and change the opinions of China's leaders) not to forget that abuses occur, notwithstanding the (probably guaranteed) success of the forthcoming Olympics. Our Chinese 'advertising brothers' are taking the point too seriously. Can they honestly deny human rights abuses happen in China? This is not an attack on the Chinese people or China, but a reminder that a system exists there which allows abuses to happen. And lets be very CLEAR here, Amnesty International does not attack specific COUNTRIES. They let the world know of abuses committed worldwide. China just happens to be in the spotlight at the moment because of the forthcoming Olympics. There was no way this type of message wasn't going to go up - whether through AI or someone else - as this is practically the mantra of activists and human rights NGO's worldwide, including in China.

I'm sorry but the western world view is currently what is shown in these series, and from documentaries, articles, features, etc.. that have featured on media recently, these will be and are well understood by the masses out here. Our colleagues at OgilvyOne China need to put national pride aside and take in the bigger picture. This 'generalised' and perhaps naive (although some would say effective) view is based on the Govt of China, not its people or culture which is well admired and respected by most.


Ephelides's picture
Activity Score 4

Amnesty International France has finally refused to use this campaign because it didn't fit Amnesty International communication guidelines (among them, not to be too aggressive). Nevertheless, they had previously allowed the agency to submit it to Cannes Lions which gave the campaign a big media coverage. (source: Le Figaro newspaper)

hyjwonder's picture
Activity Score 6

To Genghis,

I want to tell the feeling of an ordinary Chinese after seeing this "artwork": disgusted! ugly! and UNTRUE!

My answers to your points:
1. "I think we're all missing a point here. ... I've seen AI adverts on Guantanamo, Mugabe, Burma, etc... and no one can deny the governments of these countries commit human rights abuses. " - I don't know other similar "artworks" by AI, but I know one - the Iraqi prisoner abuse by US soldiers there, and the basic difference is: those are based on "truth", and here I see nothing farther than truth about the Chinese gov't. Why they deviated from their bottom line and went for something FAKE?

2. "Our Chinese 'advertising brothers' are taking the point too seriously. Can they honestly deny human rights abuses happen in China? This is not an attack on the Chinese people or China, but a reminder that a system exists there which allows abuses to happen. And lets be very CLEAR here, Amnesty International does not attack specific COUNTRIES. .." - Well, I, an ordinary Chinese, DO feel it's a PERSONAL attack on myself! I take the insult to myself! and I feel it's targeted at everyone of my brothers and sisters and specifically at my COUNTRY! Please do not tell me your system will root out any abuse, but certainly our system is better at preventing such abuses!

3. "Our colleagues at OgilvyOne China need to put national pride aside and take in the bigger picture. This 'generalised' and perhaps naive (although some would say effective) view is based on the Govt of China,...
" - What is your view of the bigger picture? What is a person if he/she is without national pride? Can you even think from some basic logic? I love my country, and I like our gov't - it's improving, and will become better and better. We do not want the U.S. democracy - that's just money-politics, we want democracy by the people, not by money.

AGAIN, I'd like to cite my Chinese friends who said previous:


chineseidealist's picture
Activity Score 9

I am a Chinese. I am surprised by how angry many Chinese are when they perceive other people of the world are airing their dirty laundry. Let's imagine there is an ad about prisoner abuse in US Guantama Bay. Most Americans will not get really, really pissed off even if they love their country as well. That is probably because they believe they are not "know-it-all".

Somehow many Chinese learned from somewhere that they are "EVERY" Chinese and they know the "truth", which is ridiculous on both accounts. I am in advertising industry in US as well. However, I will not vouch for the US that prisoner abuse is not happening just because I have a good life in Manhattan. Read how many Chinese advertising staff are claiming that they "know" the truth because they never see it. (That logic hurts).

In my mind, this ad is not about Chinese or China. It is an ad for the ideal of individual dignity, liberty, and freedom. Just because you work in Chinese ad industry, doesn't mean you are the "know it all". Just because China has improved tremendously, doesn't mean that evil is OK. (and don't tell me there is no evil in China; or I should check US first.)

zhonghuajie's picture
Activity Score 6

To chineseidealist :
Enjoy your fancy life in Manhattan, and be the rational man you think you are. And maybe deep inside you heart you're still celebrating that you finally escape out of this "horrible" country.
But every person who has a little love for this country will not tolerate this happening, especially under the cover of olympics.
Besides, the creation of using olympic games to catch eyeballs really sucks.

chineseidealist's picture
Activity Score 9

You are very perceptive. :-) but I am not that rational. Otherwise, I will not be engaged in the discussion on this topic. I guess I am just fed up. Can you believe that? :-)

For those who truly love China (if you mean the people in it), I think what they shouldn't tolerate is the environment where if you bring up something ugly about China, then you must be enemy of China. The rationale behind it is that people shouldn't politicize olymipics. I think it is heavily politicized in China in the beginning. Otherwise, do we really love sports this much that we are so offened so easily?

Sorry I got off the topic. I personally feel angry that suddenly many people forget about the injustice still prevalent in China (or in the world) just because they want to throw an Olympic party.

hyjwonder's picture
Activity Score 6

To chineseidealist:

Please never say you are Chinese - I don't have such same-blood brother/sister. Never!

ivan's picture

We all share a common ancestry. We are all brothers and sisters.

DS's picture
Activity Score 2

This ad clearly puts a bad image on China as a whole. You cannot really separate people from the government in this context. May be it'll work. But the lateral damage is high, hurting the pride of most Chinese people.
Mostly, it's just a feel-good ad for people who's fad up with the authoritarian government in China. "Seeing what we think is going on" is hardly what I like to see in the mass media these days. 20 years after coming to the states, there's been a hack more positive reports on China. But overall, I think the mass media and regular folks still have a highly biased view here in the US. I heard the Europeans do a much better job. The Chinese governement is clearly not helping either.
I'm all for putting pressure on the Chinese government. Just don't think this is the right way. There's plenty of opportunities for more selective targeting. G8 meetings for example.

koenigho's picture
Activity Score 2

I don't think that's a good ad.
I agree that's a good art direction.
However, what's the idea? New? Good? I don't think so.
Also, how much they know about China? They only listen from others, media...But what's the truth? Don't you know that? I lived in China for more than two years. I discovered that people in China got more freedom than in other countries.
Actually, every country have their problems. China is not bad compared to some so-called developed countries. Please do clarify the truth before giving any comments.

Shanghaier's picture
Activity Score 4

If you are a real chinese, pls do not pretend to be a foreign.
Because of your innocence, you must grow up in watching CCTV.

FrankChen's picture
Activity Score 18

The tagline is a bit weak, better if it is sth like "The host of Olympic Games is also a strong competitor for the champion of abusing its people".
I don't think loving China means keeping your eyes shut to the injustice and crime happening all over this country, and trying to fuck anyone who does nothing but tells the truth. If you are really pissed off, fuck those mother-fuckers instead, like the one who break into a police office in Shanghai and killed 6 cops a week ago. He might be a criminal, but he is also hailed as a hero by many Chinese people.
The creative of course is not really new, but ads like this are never too many.

zhonghuajie's picture
Activity Score 6

how dare you say the guy killed 6 policeman is a hero! where are those "many chinese people"?
Maybe in USA those killed students in college campus could be called "hero"!

FrankChen's picture
Activity Score 18

Go to and do some search OK? It's not politically correct to call the killer a hero, but this is an extreme reflection of the fact that policemen and other official personnel are regarded negatively in a part of China, maybe not your part of China, but again, it's a fact.
Don't zhuangbi and deny the real picture of China, and don't say you don't know that the government is called mafia by "many chinese people". Covering the shit from the world does nothing good for China.

huangdenggui's picture
Activity Score 4

这个广告告诉我们,还要继续我中国的人权事业而斗争,为那些在监狱里面遭受虐待的人们斗争.现在的奋青们能看懂英语了,就去AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 多看看吧.如果上不去就找个代理.不要老是在这里暴怒.都说过了,AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL的抨击过很多国家的人权问题,也经常抨击美国的人权问题.用我们中国的话来说,这叫做对事不对人.那些得了迫害神经质的FQ们,你们在这里嚷嚷,你们以为是维护了中国的尊严吗?你们知道,你们在这里FUCK,FUCK多丢人吗?有时间在家多学习学习.不要出来丢中国人的脸了.别以为学了几句英语,就可以和人家辩论了.

ahpitt's picture
Activity Score 342

讲得好。不要干涉广告自由,您也来个广告讽刺回法国佬就好了,何必生气! :D

anon123's picture
Activity Score 2

can someone explain why on the photos the domain advertised is when this domain does not even exist.
Amnesty internationals domain is actually
I am surprised everyone above missed this??

And after looking up amnesty internationals website they have this comment on the front page of there site.
"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"

So did it really win awards and if so who funded the adds or was all that fabricated as well.

Shanghaier's picture
Activity Score 4

Really good
This is exactly what human right situation in China-a place without freedom and safety
The gov controls everything and every corner and every ppl.
Ppl must learn a way to survive the administrative violence and protect themselves.

hyjwonder's picture
Activity Score 6

You mean what the US army did in Iraq? You son of bitch!



提示二:大赦国际(Amnesty International-AI)于1961年5月28日在伦敦成立。其宗旨是“动员公众舆论,促使国际机构保障人权宣言中提出的言论和宗教自由”;“致力于为释放由于信仰而被监禁的人以及给他们的家庭发放救济等方面的工作。”中国人权研究会副会长陈士球则表示:“大赦国际选择在奥运前夕发布这些辱华广告,就是要假借维护人权的口号,来污蔑破坏中国的形象,以达到破坏中国和平稳定、民族团结、社会进步的目的。”



这次,很老兵“佩服” TBWA李岱艾广告公司,能不管顾山姆大叔的面子,设计出那种让山姆大叔颜面扫地的虐囚照片来,也很大“感谢” 大赦国际出资。骂山姆大叔的事不是谁都敢做的,更不是谁都可以做得出来的。但大赦国际和TBWA李岱艾广告公司就联合演了这出好戏:指着和尚颓驴的好戏,骂得山姆有苦说不出。因为就虐囚而言,山姆大叔可算得上地球村里的第一好手,山姆大叔排第二,谁不还敢排第一?








这获得戛纳铜奖的奥运虐囚照片真正侮辱了谁? 自己去搜索虐囚照片把,SB。

China - my beloved homeland!

KariMarks's picture
Activity Score 4

It's great creative, even if Amnesty has denied its involvement.

Couldn't help noticing that Amnesty has quietly launched a site which continues this debate, albeit in a more controlled fashion. No specific mention of this campaign yet, though.

Fridgerator's picture
Activity Score 458

Hi, I myself is of Chinese ethnicity; however, I've been in Canada (currently in Toronto studying) for around 80% of my life. Seeing this ad, I can see where both sides are coming from. Both the western perspective and the perspective of being chinese. Now, I do very much agree that this ad does what it is intended to do in a perfect fashion. Effective, straightforward and everything, great ad, with a catch.

There's no denying that China has had and likely still has a history of denying human rights and all that stuff, but is it right as a CD to call out on that? It's the truth, yes, but why single us out? Why not your own country first? Or to be fair, even the rest of the world? Why pick on JUST the Chinese and China? How do comedians get away with jokes with poking fun at other ethnicities and races? They make fun of their own race/ethnicities first, then they proceed with the others. It's one thing to do something well, and its another to do the right thing and do something well. Just because you're working for Amnesty International does not automatically mean you're "helping the world". Shouldn't you be ESPECIALLY careful since you're dealing with touchy issues? This is insulting to say the least, and targeting on one specific country when there's plenty of other similar stuff going on in other countries that also need to be dealt with.

The problem is not that the target is the Beijing Olympics and China, but the fact that they singled them out. It's like putting salt on wound, but there's also plenty of other wounds out there that should be salted. I'm sure this campaign would be much less controversial if they addressed more "wounds". Moreover, the idea of using the Olympics as a medium is distasteful. The Olympics represent the world coming together every 4 years, or 2 years if you want to be exact. It's a symbol for unity and peace for the duration the Olympics, to put in something like this with a symbol like the Olympics is due to negligence or just plain arrogance.

It's a great ad, but is that all that matters? To push out an ad that wins? If that is all that matters, I don't know if I still want to continue studying to be in the industry anymore. I don't know. Thats my two cents.

The concept is only as good as the execution.

rachael.jones's picture
Activity Score 50

I think a reality of world, human are treated lyk animals.
i think u should send this entry to social print advertising award in India,11th International Concerned Communicator Award, which is open for entry.
The winner gets to win a cash of US $ 11,000. there is no entry fee for this.
Guess u wud like to try ur chance. all u need to do is fill in the entry form, attach ur ad and send it to

u can visit for more details.

Guest's picture