Hasbro responds to the scam Play Doh ads.

23Sep09

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I posted on the apparent scam ads for Play Doh from Singapore a few days ago and promised to try and get a comment from parent company Hasbro. Well, it didn’t take long. Wayne Charness, SVP of Corporate Communications just responded to me. Part of his response is here:

We became aware of these Play-Doh “advertisements” about a week ago and had many of the same questions you had. In our research we discovered that the campaign was created by a Singapore-based advertising agency, not employed by Hasbro, as a creative awards submission.

We also found out that an individual within Hasbro Singapore made the unfortunate decision to approve a one time use of the ads without going through the proper channels.  Thankfully we discovered it in time and while we could not stop the fake ad from being placed one time in a magazine, we were able to stop it from being submitted for any awards.

More importantly as a result, we are putting in place a global policy to help ensure an issue of this nature does not occur again.

It’s great to see Hasbro step up and address the problem quickly. By cutting off ads like this from award shows, they’re taking big steps to stop the incentive for scam. With award shows coming at it from one end and clients attacking it from the other, maybe they’ll put a dent in it. Again, big props to Hasbro for taking this issue seriously.

About these ads


17 Responses to “Hasbro responds to the scam Play Doh ads.”

  1. ….So, basically are they saying that Hasbro in X country said yes, and now they have new rules in place preventing non-US Hasbro from saying yes to anything without first checking with US HQ? That’s what I’m getting from it, and a nightmare approval process in the future for any global brands. Might as well close local shops that serve global brands now then. We will all be doing adaptation in the future…

  2. 2 dognpony

    Well, they didn’t say that non-US offices would have to check with US HQ. They just said there’s going to be a global policy.

    If a single Hasbro employee in Singapore approved an ad from an agency that Hasbro wasn’t even working with, the policy could potentially be something to the effect of “No Hasbro employee may give approval to run Hasbro-branded communications by non-roster agencies.”

  3. That would be a good policy. It just sounded like they were passing the buck. Who is the agency of record for Hasbro in Singapore I wonder.

  4. 4 McLovin

    How much do think that local Hasbro employee was paid by the agency (in hookers)?

  5. I wonder what other ads this Hasbro person in Singapore has approved.

    Hasbro Rep: “So, let me make sure I understand the ad. You want to dress Mr. Potato Head up like Osama Bin Laden, stick him on the back of Starscream, and have them both fly into a bunch of Monopoly hotels?”

    Ad Agency: “that’s correct.”

    Hasbro Rep: “Sounds great! I’m excited!”

  6. 6 nrose

    Clearly no client approved this work. The logo’s too small.

  7. I think these ads are brilliant.
    it makes me sad when people freak out. actually it doesn;t make me sad, it makes me frustrated.
    these are brilliant.
    go hide under your bed sheets.

  8. 8 Mr P.Head

    These are clearly the best Play-dohs ads that have ever and will ever be created. Wit and genuine houmour are a rare-commodity in adverts these days.

  9. 9 Mr PMosh

    I think this adds are so cool! so well done…i mean, maybe not for kids, but they still are wonderful and do make the point clear and funny! It’s sad this brilliant adds won’t make it further :(
    Totally agree with 8 and 7.

  10. 10 dognpony

    To be clear, I’m not saying these aren’t fun ads. But what creative couldn’t do a funny ad like this if they had no client, no strategy, and no target audience to deal with?

    The reality is, doing real ads for real clients and real consumers is hard. We shouldn’t be putting people who do fake ads with no restrictions on the same level as creatives who actually solve a business problem.

    The former is nothing but masturbation. The latter is what our career is all about. If you want to do stuff just for fun – go be an artist.


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