The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Irony Of Scam …
April 3, 2009, 6:21 am
Filed under: Comment

Agency doesn’t win many creative awards.

Agency wants to win some creative awards.

Agency decides to film a scam ad.

Agency enters scam ad into various award shows claiming it is a client approved and paid-for commercial.

Even though it doesn’t resemble in the slightest, the clients decades long, systematic approach to communication.

Ad escapes the confines of the award show and starts appearing all over the net.

Client gets millions of dollars of free publicity.

But client doesn’t want millions of dollars of free publicity.

Mainly because the ad is terrible.

Even worse than what they normally produce.

Client hits the roof.

Agency panics and tries to remove all the evidence.

Even though they forget to take off the ad that is on Youtube.

Where they have detailed the names of all the guilty parties involved.

Rob Campbell hates scam.

Even though he once started a magazine called Scampaign.

So he could make some money from agencies who couldn’t sell real work but still craved an ego massage.

But I digress …

Rob Campbell decides the agency needs to be taught a lesson.

Not just about scam, but what constitutes quality advertising.

Because if you’re going to do scam, you should at least make it good.

Or something that in theory, could of seen the light of day.

So Rob Campbell puts the rubbish ad on his blog.

And asks everyone to put the rubbish ad on their blogs.

Even though the agency behind it doesn’t actually want anyone to actually see it.

Especially the client.

33 Comments so far
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its not that fucking evil a post campbell but if you get loads of people putting it on their fucking blogs it starts to have some bastard potential.

what the fuck are the agency thinking? its fucking shit. its selling wanking. buy colgate and youll want to wank yourself off.

if this is what they think is good advertising i fucking hate to think what the usual standard of total fucking wank they churn out is.

the irony of this ad is that colgate realise its fucking shit and want it destroyed yet cant see how their normal work is only a knats neck width better

for mr pedantic. heard the news, totally fucking shit and horribe, take good care of yourself

Comment by andy@cynic

There was a horror film about a hand that could act independently from the rest of the owners body and brain (a rare but genuine medical condition supposedly) but it wasn’t as scary as this terrible, irrelevent, stupid piece of work.

As Rob said, if you’re going to try and get away with scam, at least make it good if only so if the client does see it, they see what you could do for them. As it stands, Colgate probably believe they should start writing their ads rather than leave it in the hands of these rank amateurs.

And best wishes to Mr Pedantic whoever you are. If Andy is upset with whatever you’re going through you must be a decent guy going through a bad time.

Comment by Pete

besides me thinking this should have never seen the light of day… i remember a public outrage because of richard gere kissing a bollywood beauty at a press conference… as far as i m aware sexually related things are not really welcome to be shown in public. therefore i would assume this little ad has the potential to damage the colgate brand beyond not fitting their strategy…

what s that layout rob? twittering your posts now : )?

ps: whoever mr. pedantic is… xo

Comment by peggy

Thanks for that medical lesson Pete – and I think I may of even seen the movie you describe. Given an episode of Crossroads [look it up] was scarier than the ‘mystery hand’ flick, I don’t think it’s too big a claim to say this is worse.

And yes Andy, it does seem Colgate are promoting ‘self love’ – maybe their toothpaste can also act as a lubricant. We should ask Billy, I’m sure he’d know. 🙂

And Peggy – you’re right about the acceptance of public displays of ‘love’ in Indian broadcast – they have a very different set of rules to Western style communication – but they’re not as prudish as some may think.

To be honest, I think the Richard Gere issue was more to do with it being that weird fuck than anything to do with snogging … and the reason why this [b]ad could be made in the sexually conservative country that is India [at least in comms terms], is because the agency never had any intention of the masses seeing it.

But I’m working on changing that … hence my Twitter, Messenger and Facebook status messages.


PS: Mr Pedantic is known by all on this blog – to different degrees – and he’s having a shitty time so even if you have no idea who I’m talking about, send ‘compassion and courage’ vibes. Ta.

Comment by Rob

The ad is terrible but it does seems that the strategy is similar to one you tried to sell to the same company about 5 years ago. LOL.

Take care Mr Pedantic. Sending good thoughts.

Comment by George

You cheeky bastard …

“People with ugly mouths don’t get laid” is notihng like this “ad”, and besides, given Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler have had more action than all of us put together, it was obviously a bad idea – unless we evolved it to “People with ugly mouths don’t get laid unless they’re Rock Stars” which might work and could lead to a rather amusing celebratory endorsement. 🙂

Comment by Rob

haha, yeah i ve searched google trends on that prudish topic once

Comment by peggy

Super timming for this post, everyone is assembled in goa to celebrate scam advertising today,and a few legit ones too. scam winners will be announced tomorow night!

Comment by Bhaskar

That’s not good enough to be a legitimate ad, let alone a scam one. Why bother?

Comment by Simon

Luckily for us, when advertising crime strikes PC Campbell is there to make the all important arrest. A shocking piece of work that does the advertising industry no service at all.

I believe I know who Mr Pedantic refers to. Whatever may have happened, I hope all is well or improves soon.

Comment by Lee Hill

The agency of the year at the Dubai Lynx 09, FP7, has just been stripped of its title, and 7 awards for Scam work. There is some justice out there.

Comment by Jacob

Breath so fresh you’ll jerk off? Did they do a corresponding female one *licks fingers*.

Those excitable Indians eh! Consider it blogged.

Comment by Charles

Toothpaste for the stupid by the stupid.

Comment by Bazza

They thought that was award worthy?

I am stunorrified.

Awful awful piece of hideous piece of work. Hideously executed.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Dont forget FP7’s stuff, exposed here by Scamp:

Comment by Rob Mortimer

When you consider an Indian agency did a great toothpaste ad a few years back you get even more confused why Y&R thought this shit was award worthy.

Then when Mr Scam is your global creative director you start to understand it’s not about quality it’s all about the quantity.

Comment by Danny Halter

2 things.

1. I don’t blog about advertising anymore.
2. Even if I did I wouldn’t put that piece of utter shite on my blog.

It’s staggeringly poor. The that you outline above just makes it all the worse. If anyone who was involved in the making of this, and the subsequent handling of the scam happens to pop by and read this please take note:

Stop wasting my fucking time. Stop wasting everybody else’s fucking time. Oh, and if you want to write comedy – try watching some first.

Good afternoon.

Comment by Marcus

By the way.


Comment by Marcus

are you saying that there was a big drama about this ad and they FORGOT TO TAKE IT OFF YOUTUBE? are you fuckin’ for real?? i’m not buying it. if i was clamping down on anything, YouTube would be the first place i’d go. so why the hell do Colgate/Palmolive really want to leave this ad “out there”?

Comment by lauren

The reason ad can still be seen is people outside y&r uploaded it when they heard agency was trying to take it down. Rumor is version that lists y&r agency people was posted by a rival India agency which is why they can’t remove it. I’ve heard people in new york head office are trying to get google to take it down.

Comment by the insider

oh dear, i should not comment before signing out… with my google trends comment i wanted to say that i think you are right rob about indians not being as prudish as some may think when watching bollywood movies… i was having colgate being the westerner richard gere behaving strangely in the indian public in mind… btw, even if almost impossible, i think it must somehow be possible that sharukh khan appears in the ugly mouth spot. now can i be on set please 😀

Comment by peggy

@insider That’s ironic. A toothpaste brand trying to put it back in the tube.

It’s on metacafe too

Comment by Charles

Why single out FP7? The Lynx 09 awards committee might also want to ask another agency near and dear to this blog to show them the media schedule supporting some other creative they gave awards to….. Talk about not understanding your client’s predicament when you can chuck effort and budget into a scam ad while you client is working its butt off to make some headway in the economic crisis.

Comment by Not alone?

This shit has been going on for years. This is just a particularly pathetic example. But when you consider that all the after shave/cologne ads that have ACTUALLY run throughout time are all along the juvenile “Splash this on… Get laid” lines, I’m not surprised… And where the fuck has MARCUS been… Wanking off somewhere? He does seem to spend way too much time in the toilet.

Comment by George Parker

i thought george had more taste than to appear here. fuck me.

hes right about marcus though. probably sitting on the throne with a tube of colgate tugging himself for germany.

wash your hands and come back brown

Comment by andy@cynic

“wash your hands and come back brown”

that, my dear, is a sentence whoring for comma or two.

Comment by lauren

I should point out that while I am naming Y&R India in this post, the scam situation is not unique to them.

As most people know, I worked for Y&R across Asia and think they have [both historically and currently] a bunch of great people who can – and have – produced a great body of work … work that is both hugely effective and massively awarded … which is why I was so upset that a company I will always have a soft spot, had a rogue office produce a poor [fake] commercial that doesn’t show how good this network can be when it wants to.

Y&R were once one of the greatest creative networks in the World … BBH on steroids if you will … and whilst times change [or things are changed for them] I know that there’s a whole host of people in there wanting to get it back where it once was – I hope they succeed because by god the industry needs it.

Comment by Rob

I know why you’re not being as shit to Y&R as they deserve but fuck Rob this ad is shit

Comment by Billy Whizz

I thought the Naughty Boy deserved spanking (

The regular advertising on the brand is here:

Comment by bhatnaturally

You can see the regular stuff that happens on the Colgate Max Fresh brand here:

Comment by L Bhat

I can’t add anything new comment wise. But the Horror film mention started Michael Caine and was called The Hand and was shot in 1981. It’s about as good as Dirty Boy, so maybe not worth hunting out

Comment by simon

your comment could do as much damage to your rep simon as this fucking clip has done to y&r, lol

Comment by andy@cynic

[…] Perhaps the trickiest aspect is deciding where real work ends and scam begins. So I’ve let Rob Campbell do it for me. […]

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