Former worldwide creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi, Bob Isherwood, who is currently founding partner of Dialog Health, Chairman of the Global Creative Council for Innocean and Dean of the Cannes Young Creative Academy, has been kidnapped by The Advertising Liberation Army at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2016.
No, seriously! OK, maybe not, but still.
The kidnappers released a video which shows three masked men holding Isherwood hostage. Isherwood is seen holding a copy of Sunday’s edition of the Lions Daily.
The kidnappers, who claim Cannes Lions statues are made in sweatshops, read aloud the following statement:
“We are the Advertising Liberation Army. And we hope this action will take us towards truthful and transparent advertising. Yesterday we kidnapped one of the godfathers of your capitalist creativity, Bob Isherwood, from this Festival. If you do not perform our task by tomorrow, 21st June, Bob Isherwood will not be released by the penthouse suite he is in.
“We love advertising and marketing but we can no longer watch silently when the world is being destroyed by outright lies, corruption and immorality.
“To demonstrate this, we tried to find out whether the production of Cannes Lions statues stands the light of day. We found sources that claim the statues are produced in terrible working conditions in shady sweatshops. We tried to confirm the information with the festival organizers but did not get an answer.
“You, the creative industry, must demand an answer to this question! How are the Cannes Lions statues produced? What are the conditions and rights of the workers? Go to the organization and get a response.
“We are not alone, millions of people want to move to a more ethical consumption. Answer these questions publicly, develop your activities and release Bob. You have until dawn tomorrow to answer our questions To increase the pressure, we produced our own statues, ethically. Until you answer our questions we will give out thirty of these ethically produced statues per day.
More details about the kidnapping will be released at hasan & partners’ seminar “Can trolling be a force for good in advertising” on Monday.
So, yeah, it's all just a stunt to promote a Cannes Lions panel. Did you attend? Was it any good? And might this stunt hit just a little too close to home what with all the crazy sh*t going on in the world these days?