In the wake of the WWF/DDB fiasco, Adland has posted a bunch of other 9/11-themed ads done over the years. Many of them are also pretty tasteless—in particular, the one with the oblivious pilots reading Humo magazine while heading straight for the towers. Adland also points out this 2003 MTV campaign, which similarly compared the death toll of 9/11 with that of other tragedies—in this case, AIDS, famine and poverty. If we've seen this stuff before, Adland asks, why did the DDB ad cause such a backlash? Who knows. It was probably the slow news week and the image of multiple planes, which was particularly upsetting. Whatever the reason, we surely haven't seen the last of 9/11 imagery ads. The visual shorthand of the century's defining image is just too tempting. In fact, there's already a new 9/11 advertisement out—the one above (click to enlarge) from BBDO for the English-language Moscow News. "Things hard to explain, in a language you understand," says the tagline. (There's also a Hiroshima version.) It's pretty harmless, though it does seem more exploitative than it would have a week ago. With future ads, that kind of awareness is probably the best we can hope for—along with a reminder that the total annihilation of New York is never a great advertising theme.
—Posted by Tim Nudd