Australian bank apologises for ‘bomb-hoax’ Olympic ad
02 August 2012
Australia’s The Commonwealth Bank, an official Olympics sponsor, has been forced to pull an online ad that features a bomb hoax taking place outside an Olympic venue.
The terrorism-themed ad in question was posted on YouTube but later had to be removed following a number of complaints on YouTube and Twitter.
The film, part of the bank’s ‘Can’ campaign, features three men dressed as the letters ‘C’, ‘A’ and ‘N’, with a fourth “suspicious” man dressed as a ‘T’.
The first three men tell a security guard that the fourth man is “sweating profusely”, has a “ticking” backpack and suggest that he “should strip search him”. The guard lets the first three men inside the venue to watch the women’s beach volleyball, while the ‘T’ man is wrestled to the ground.
The bank has since apologised for the ad, which was deemed to have London 2012 terrorism-themed annotations.
The Commonwealth Bank’s chief marketing and online officer Andy Lark told Australian title B&T, that it was “an unapproved video that got released”.
“The Commonwealth Bank apologises for the online video released to its YouTube channel,” said the bank in a statement. “We acknowledge some concerns were raised and the material was withdrawn this morning. We’d like to apologise... This viral video was removed this morning and we have tightened our controls as a result.”
The Commonwealth Bank’s CAN characters were introduced in May this year by M&C Saatchi.
Jenni Baker, London