Apartheid museum 'forgives' ad agency for 'fake news advert'

08:51 (GMT+2) Wed, 05 Sep 2018

A Johannesburg ad agency which won a Golden Loerie award for best radio commercial in August has been disqualified.

The TBWA Hunt Lascaris agency won several awards for their campaign to advertise the apartheid museum.

The advert compares comments made by Verwoerd to those made by American President Donald Trump, but 7 quotes were never said by either of the two.

One quote by Trump was only an allegation made in a book written by a former employee while the quote from Verwoerd is reportedly from a fake speech on the internet attributed to PW Botha. (The advert has since been taken off the air) 

The CEO for TBWA Sean Donovan has since apologised unreservedly and returned all their 2018 awards.

The agency also won a Silver Loerie for the same campaign in the News/Print category 

Meanwhile, the Apartheid-museum, which is run and funded by Christopher Till, expressed their willingness to continue their relationship with the agency who offered to correct the mistakes.

Till told Algoa FM news that their relationship with the agency goes back a very long time.

"At various times there are approaches to us to conduct various campaigns of which this was one, it was shown to us in its conceptual phase and the message is a very important message, because we are being faced with so many elements of racism in contemporary society, not only in South Africa but around the world" he said.

Till said the unfortunate aspect was that some of the quotations were not correct and a further concern is that the reputation of the Apartheid Museum is upheld as it has been for the past 18 years.

He says they are busy discussing the matter with TBWA who asked to correct the mistakes. Till said the campaign itself was the important part as racism has to be challenged at all times.

"We certainly don't want to be part of any fake news or misrepresentation but Hunt Lascaris has apologised for that" he added.

The agency told Till that the quotes had been followed up, verified and authenticated but that something went wrong in their process

Till said this was deeply regrettable but they don't regret the fact that they wanted to address the importance of challenging racism.

He says the Apartheid museum is more relevant today than it has ever been.

The Loeries meanwhile removed all the entries for the "Past and Present" campaign.

Algoa FM news asked the Loeries if they planned to give the awards to someone else but they are yet to comment.