Although J.C. Penney has received a lot of well-deserved attention for the creative makeover it's gotten from Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, the retailer is up in arms over a fake spot that earned a Bronze Lion at this year's Cannes International Advertising Festival.
The "Speed Dressing" ad, directed by former Saatchi creative Mike Long out of Epoch Films, features a teenage boy and girl respectively running through drills, quickly stripping and re-dressing themselves, in preparation for an upcoming rendezvous in the girl's basement while her mother is at home. The ad has been circulating on Youtube since Monday. J.C. Penney never signed off on the spot and disapproves of its apparent promotion of teen sex.
"J.C. Penney was deeply disappointed to learn that our name and logo were used in the creation and distribution of a commercial that was submitted to the 2008 International Advertising Festival at Cannes," the company said in a statement to Creativity. "No one at J.C. Penney was aware of the ad or participated in the creation of it in any way. The commercial was never broadcast, but rather was created by a former employee at J.C. Penney's advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, solely as an award submission without J.C. Penney's knowledge or prior approval. J.C. Penney does not approve or condone its content, and we have asked Saatchi & Saatchi to remove the ad from online circulation and to apologize to our customers and our associates for misrepresenting our company in this manner."