Ogilvy sorry for promoting organ harvesting

Ad agency 1984, a unit of Ogilvy in South Africa (shouldn’t it be a unit of TBWA?), has apologized for a controversial guerrilla campaign promoting a horror film called Night Drive. They made fliers for a fictional Dr. Uba, a member of the “Native African Healers Society,” with copy promising that the good doctor will pay “the best prices for your body parts and organs.” (The plot of the rather lame-sounding Night Drive involves the poaching of human body parts.) Sure, $230 apiece for testicles is tempting, especially if you don’t plan on using both. Heck, that’s better resale value than most Dell laptops! There were many clues that the whole thing was bogus. First of all, the phone number didn’t work, and in my experience, testicle merchants are always on call. Also, the promise of “24-hour recovery” for such a procedure seems like a stretch—washing in “holy spiritual water” may speed healing, but if I’m losing a ball, I’d also like antibiotics and morphine, thanks. What’s more, the ad solicits “rhino parts,” which most folks wouldn’t have lying around the house. (I keep mine in the garage.) Police apparently tried to track down Dr. Uba. I guess they weren’t sure the ad was a joke. Maybe that’s understandable, as the flier mentions tongue (worth $360!) but not cheek. Full flier after the jump. Via Adland.

@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.