Amnesty International has managed, rather cleverly, to highlight an issue that vexes them without even resorting to an official advertising campaign.
Amnesty's French offices commissioned TBWA to create a series of adverts highlighting China's alleged human rights abuses, in the run up to the Olympics.
The adverts included images of a man being pushed headfirst into a swimming pool, a policeman walking away from a man who has been shot while lashed to an archery target and a woman chained to a dumbbell in the colours of the Olympic rings.
The tag line is:
"After the Olympic Games, the fight for human rights must go on."
Amnesty in the end decided never to show them, because they were too graphic. However, they were entered for a website competition and inevitably ended up circulating on the web even crossing the Great Firewall of China.
The adverts, despite never being officially shown, have caused a huge amount of controversy in China and resulted in a large amount of publicity for Amnesty.
There is one more irony here.
TBWA, which produced the advertisements, also put together a series of adverts aimed at the Chinese Olympics market, including a series for Adidas featuring local athletes and their fans.
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